His eyes open at the high pitched sound of a swing set and kids shouting. At first he didn't know where or even who he was. He had asked that very same question hundreds of times before. He would
wake up and roll out of the bed and onto the floor, crawl to the dresser and lift himself to his feet. He would stagger his way to the bathroom feeling every pulse from his heart blasting blood
into a brain that felt full already. He would look at his creased and quickly aging face and ask himself out loud, "Who are you?"
Now he wakes in his car in a parking lot next to a school beside a big hill that the trains run on. He wakes to the sounds of recess. He wakes to the very sound of his own child playing with his friends. No one even knows he is there. He would pull down the back seat that opens a hole that leads to the trunk and would lie 50/50 between the back seat and the trunk. In the winter, he would start the car for 30 minutes several times a night to make it warm inside, then shut it off to conserve gas. He had to work too hard to pay for gas...and hurt too many people.
He brings himself out of the back seat and sits down onto the front seat and lights a cigarette. His little boy is standing straight up on the top of a dome of monkey bars. He hasn't spoken to him in years, but sees him 5 times a week at 9:45 and 2:15 PM. Some days it's kickball and others it's the dome of steel. Either one, his kid was clearly king. It makes him remember when he was king...that very short period of time that he ruled the entire world.
He sat in the oval office and controlled whether a nation would recover or decay. The earth was at his fingertips. He thought at the time that he wanted this power, but when his wife left him during his second term, reality set in deep inside. He started smoking weed in the presidential garden. He did so without regard to anyone that may be watching. He got drunk and made a state of the union speech using a made up language that no one understood. This was his last term and he just didn't care anymore. He had lost everything. His wife had left 2 years after his kids gave up on him and wrote tell all books about him. He was shamed, damned to serve his final year as commander of the world and go off into oblivion. That was when his maid got pregnant with his child. He knew it was his because he never let anyone leave him. He paid them more money to stay and ease the loneliness.
Now he sits and watches his child play in the park of a low income community. No one is calling him for speeches or stamps of approval. No one cares whether he lives or dies anymore. If he is mentioned anywhere, it is accompanied with a joke at his expense...and he deserves it. He is the "Trailer Park President" the "Black Eye of the American Electoral College." He was President Duncan, now he is "Drunkin Dunkin, time to make the donuts." The laughing stock of the entire world. This is why he awakens to the sound of swing sets and not the radio.
His bottle of the cheapest vodka available sits under his foot as he rolls it back and forth on the floor until the bell rings and he gets to watch his son walk back into school and out of his life until 2:15 when he will barely recognize him due to a new bottle of the cheapest vodka available.
He sits and watches the doors close and the field go silent. He begins to figure out a way to get the 2 dollars he needs for a new bottle, but is interrupted by the young guy walking toward the doors of the building his kid is about to learn mathematics in. This guy doesn't look official and surely is holding something under his jacket. President Drunkin Dunkin opens the car door and runs as fast as an intoxicated man could be expected to run and swings open the door of the school exposing himself to a very angry teenager with a very deadly gun. They lock eyes for a moment of understanding and the kid fires a round into the stomach of President Shamed Duncan, then turned toward his son's classroom. Duncan pushes forward toward the kid, making noise that would both distract and agitate the gunman. Another bullet into the shoulder. Another into the abdomen. Duncan kept coming. He kept walking until he put his hands on the shooter breaking his neck with the last amount of strength left, then crumbling to the ground in death.
No one called him "Drunkin Dunkin, time to make the donuts again." No one called him anything but a national hero.
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