Everything has a beginning and an end. Love… life… this story…
The world also has a starting point. We debate how that story began, but we may soon discover how it ends. Perhaps by the time we finish this tale, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The story isn’t over yet. In fact, it’s just getting started and what better way to start than at the beginning… of the end?
A New Day
It was unusually warm for a January morning in the District of Columbia. Evan began to wonder if he’d ever get to sleep-in again.
Probably not for the next four years, or maybe even eight, he thought.
Awakened by staffers and advisors instead of his husband, Mick; he felt reality grab hold. He knew things were going to change, but he didn’t fully grasp the concept until now. By assuming the most powerful office on the planet, he lost all control. His day was now micro-managed to the nanosecond and bathroom breaks not excluded.
“Mr. President,” said a thin figure standing in the doorway.
“Are you ready to begin?” It was Evan’s Chief of Staff, Hank.
“Is anyone ever ready for this?” Evan replied with a smirk.
Hank just smiled in return and handed him a thick file followed by a thin, sealed envelope.
“Today’s codes, Mr. President.”
“Mr. President. I’ll have to get use to that,” Evan said.
He leaned over his husband, Mick, kissed him softly and slipped out into the hall.
On his way to The Oval Office, Evan familiarized himself with his schedule.
“Meeting… meeting… meeting… How am I going to get anything done?” Evan asked Hank, not expecting an answer.
He glanced at the Gold Codes. Gold Codes was the term used for the nuclear launch codes.
“8675309, Really? Seriously Hank?”
“Sorry Mr. President. I’ll tell the NSA that you don’t care for their sense of humor.”
He smiled. He actually did have a good sense of humor; he was just feeling stressed.
“I knew I’d have my hands full today, but I expected a bit more action,” He said.
Hank was quick to respond, “Careful what you ask for, Mr. President. Soon you may have too much action.” Hank said.
“Well, not that much action; I haven’t even taken my Viagra yet and my husband is still asleep–” The President stopped to look at Hank and realized from his facial expression that they were talking about two different things.
“Oh, you mean with the current state of affairs. That’s a good point, Eggs,” Evan said.
A tall, slender man, Hank Benedict was Evan’s closest friend in Washington. Early on in their relationship, he received the nickname, “Eggs” due, in part, to his last name being Benedict, but not helped by his association with then Governor, Evan Bacon. Now President Bacon’s Chief of Staff, Eggs settled into his new position rather quickly, as if the job was tailored to him. He felt comfortable instantly; this was where he was meant to be.
Now entering the Oval Office, President Evan Bacon and Chief of Staff Hank Benedict were eager to start their journey.
“Ready to save the world, Eggs?”
“I started saving it three hours before you got out of bed,” Eggs replied jokingly.
“Three hours before you got out of bed; it’s Mr. President,” Evan interjected.
“Yes. Sorry, Mr. President,” Eggs responded, lowering his head as if his error just cost him his job.
“I’m joking.” Evan said with a smile. “Take it easy, bud; you’ll give yourself an aneurysm. It’s not the end of the world.”
“We should get down to some pressing domestic matters. You really need to sign the Social Security and Marriage Equality Act.”
“You know I’m opposed to gay marriage.” The president slams his “Hell No” stamp down on the bill.
“Yes sir, but the people will find it very hypocritical since you yourself are–”
“What? Spit it out Eggs. This is no time to mince words.”
“The people will think you are a hypocrite, since you yourself are married to a person of the same sex.”
“I see; I never thought of it that way. Do you have any whiteout?”
“No need for whiteout. I have another copy; whiteout on a federal bill wouldn’t look too…presidential.”
The President signed the bill and straightened his eye patch, which bore the presidential seal on it.
“What’s next on my agenda?”
“The director of Homeland Security, Stanley Johnson is waiting to see you.”
President Evan Bacon’s husband, Mick Cage-Bacon, leaped into the Oval Office with his usual dramatic flair.
“I’m afraid ole Stanley is going to have to wait.”
Nick was wearing a pale blue chiffon shirt with a pink ascot and tan khakis. Jackie Kennedy had nothing on him. As the first husband, he wanted to make sure he was always dressed well. He was also in charge of several charities including his favorite, Apparel Without Borders, which provided all the latest fashion to children in third world countries. He was so proud, from Algeria to South Africa; kids were wearing Gucci, Prada and carrying some of the most stylish Coach purses. Just because you were starving to death, doesn’t mean you can’t look good, is the way he looked at it.
Eggs took Mick’s entrance as his cue to leave; he wanted them to have some alone time.
President Bacon gets up from his desk to embrace his husband. He inhales Mick’s fragrance; he always smells so nice like licorice and peach schnapps.
“What are you doing today, my love?”
“I have to meet my stylist in an hour and then I have to get a pedi and after that I’m meeting Kitty from Rolling Stone for brunch to do an interview.”
Evan smiled; he loved that his husband was a serious individual who cared about the important issues.
“I start shooting the action film I’m starring in today.”
“Which action film is that?”
“Sex and the City and Death III.”
“Oh yes, that one.”
Evan had not seen Sex and the City and Death I and II yet, but had it on his DVR and was planning on watching them as soon as he got some free time.
“Do you think we have time for a JFK?” Evan asked. JFK was their code word for sex; it was also their safe word, so it could get confusing at times.
“I don’t think I have time for a JFK.”
President Bacon tried not to show his disappointment; he was feeling stressed and a JFK would be just what he needed.
“But I do have time for a Bill Clinton.”
Evan laughed. He had certainly married well. Mick was absolutely perfect.
Two minutes and twenty seven seconds later, President Bacon was buzzing his chief of staff.
Eggs walked in as Mick was leaving. Eggs noticed the President seemed more relaxed and ready to work. He also noticed that his fly was open.
“What’s next on the agenda?”
“The director of Homeland Security, Stanley Johnson has been waiting half an hour to see you.”
“Well, send him right in Eggs; don’t keep the man waiting.”
“Yes sir and might I suggest…”
Let Stanley tell him his fly is open; he was so much better at that sort of thing, Eggs thought.
Eggs ushers in the Homeland Security director, and a portly bald man enters the room, wearing a gray suit and a blue tie. His shirt was starched and he was a stark contrast to the President, who playfully had his cuffs rolled up and was not wearing a tie at all. Stanley took off his bifocals and breathed on the lenses and then wiped them off with his jacket. His glasses were so thick, that his eyes looked like two marbles trapped in a fish bowl. Still, appearances could be deceiving, because Stanley Johnson was the most efficient man that Evan had ever met. Stanley simply got things done and knew everything; he was Henry Kissinger without the thick accent.
“Mr. President, thank you for seeing me.”
“I’m sorry to have kept you waiting so long; I had urgent business to take care of this morning.”
“Yes, I saw your husband leaving. He told me I looked a bit pale and recommended a foundation, but I’ve quite forgotten the name; perhaps you could ask him about it later.”
“Um…foundation, sure thing.”
“Mr. President, I should point out…”
“What’s on your mind Stanley?”
“Whatever insults your own soul, and the very FLESH shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency–”
“What the hell are you talking about Stanley? Are you quoting Walt Whitman again? You know I’m a Keats man.”
“Forgive me sir; I do not know the correct reference, but I believe the expression is your barn door is open.”
President Bacon looks down a little embarrassed and zips his pants up.
“Very well, Mr Johnson. Was there anything else, or did you travel across town solely to keep my dignity in check a bit longer?”
Director Johnson seemed a bit startled at the question. Did President Bacon seriously think that was the reason for his visit? “No sir, Mr. President. That’s not the only reason I came-I mean, I also came to say… I only came to say–”
“Stan… may I call you Stan?”
“Um, yes, of course.”
“Stan, I don’t have time for games unless it’s Call of Duty.”
“My apologies, your honor,” Stanley stumbled as he was clearly ill prepared for the President’s humor.
“I’ve come today to discuss an urgent matter, sir.”
Evan sat up in his chair as if possessed by a more serious person. His lips tighten against his teeth.
“Aliens? I see. Well as you’re aware, my primary concern during my campaign was illegal immigration. I swore to the American people that I’d finish Trump’s wall. During his visit to my state to oversee the project, I promised Trump himself that I’d finish it as he lie dying in my arms, when that Mexican construction worker fell off the wall and onto him. This is a matter near and dear to my heart.”
“Well, Mr. President, it seems after Trump’s unfortunate accident, illegals have been flooding in at record numbers. It is as if they believe this is their last chance before construction resumes. I’m afraid we have an added increase in the number of militant Islamic extremists we’ve encountered as well. They see the wave and they are riding it into the United States.”
“This is disconcerting; I have enough on my plate without a wave of aliens to contend with. Follow me to the war room, Director Johnson. I’ll introduce you to General Norm Usrodd. We need to get right on this.”
Rolling Stone’s columnist, Susan “Kitty” Catan is busy preparing for her exclusive interview with First Gentleman Mick Cage-Bacon.
“Everything has to be purrrfect,” she says nervously to her husband, Yukon.
“Relax,” he assures her. “You’ll do great.” He puts his large hand on top of hers, eclipsing it from view.
“This is the biggest interview of my career,” she adds. “This is my springboard. If this goes well, they’ll have to choose me for the field reporter spot at Fox. The biggest tool that bitch Carly Epps has in her box is her sex tape with Dan Rather.”
“Calm down, Kitty. You’ve got this.” Yukon slides behind her, wrapping her up in his arms and hunched over her shoulder, as to compare his massive head to hers in the steamed bathroom mirror.
“You’re the best interviewer on the planet. The job is as good as yours or my name isn’t Yukon Cornelius Catan.”
Kitty smiled for the first time that morning. With her hair down and still wet from the shower, Yukon was taken back to when they first met at the Olympics immediately following his gold medal dive. She was there to interview him, though he wasn’t keen on the idea. Interviews weren’t his thing. He hadn’t seen her before that day, but he couldn’t be missed. He was on every magazine cover that year, except for Rolling Stone. She was there to fix that. Before his dive, Susan walked in and she was extremely late. His was the final dive of the competition. She looked up at him and he was huge even from a distance; she was in awe. The room went silent and all eyes were fixed on him; no one was breathing. Susan lost herself and her footing.
Every eye in the room was called to the pool below, Yukon’s as well. He sprang instantly; the sound of the board drawing everyone’s attention back to him. He sank deep into the crystal clear water and found her like a sailor finds the cliffs when a siren calls. Almost out of the water as fast as she went in, Susan looked up at Yukon. Her hair was wet and her cheeks flushed from embarrassment, with a smile that made him forget they weren’t alone.
“Are you ok?” He asked in his deep tone that echoed in her chest.
“I could probably use some mouth to mouth.”
Yukon was in deep. And the water was purrrfect.
Kitty finished blow drying her hair and chose a conservative navy blue pant suit. She looked in the mirror. On the outside, she looked poised and confident, but on the inside she felt insecure.
This is my shot; this could really propel me to the next level, she thought.
Yukon kissed her cheek and squeezed her hand.
“I’m ready to go; it’s now or never.”
Kitty kissed Yukon one last time and left their penthouse apartment. She chose to have the interview at the Cherubim Cafe, a little place about a block from her apartment that served the best gourmet sandwiches. She wanted to meet there, rather than someplace she would have to drive her car, because D.C. traffic was the worst. She didn’t want to be late for this interview; she wanted everything to go smoothly.
A man bumped into Kitty and didn’t even say, excuse me, he was too absorbed in his phone. Kitty was annoyed, but she wasn’t going to let it bother her, because she was laser-focused on her interview.
It is just a self absorbed culture nowadays and people have forgotten basic manners, she thought.
She arrived at the Cherubim Café and looked at the time; she was ten minutes early. When she opened the door; it was crowded but the hostess, Becky recognized her right away and made her way toward her. She and Yukon were regulars at the café; they ate there a few times a week.
“He’s already waiting for you outside. We had to close off the outside dining area for security, which is why it’s so packed inside.
“Damn! He’s here already. Has he been waiting long?”
“No, but he had to get here early, so that Secret Service could scope the area out and make sure it was not a security risk for the first husband. Since it’s an enclosed area, with no large buildings nearby where a sniper could set up, they thought it would be fine. One time, George Bush Sr., after he was President came in here to have lunch and it was the same deal. It’s nice how presidents still get to have the Secret Service follow them around, even after they are out of office.”
Kitty gave her a curt nod. She didn’t have time for a long-winded discussion; the scoop of her career was waiting for her.
Kitty made her way outside and normally as a reporter, she always had her antenna up, alert to anything out of the ordinary, but today her antenna was not up, or she would have noticed that something seemed amiss. People were buried in their phones, more so than usual, because even couples were not chatting. Also, the T.V. was on in the kitchen, as if there was something important being said or…an important news story breaking.