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60 and still a ramblin' man

July 09, 2006|John Kenney | JOHN KENNEY has just finished his first novel.

"Let us now peek into the psyche of America's most powerful baby boomer, George W. Bush." -- New York Times, July 6, the president's birthday

IT IS VERY LATE, almost 9:30, and everyone here at the "casablanca" is asleep, except for me, who is writing my thoughts, a kind of stream of unconsciousness. I am George Bush, 43rd president of these United States and we are at war, which makes me the commander in chief, a very important job, and I have just watched "Last Comic Standing," which is quite good. I like the heavy-set fellow.

I am 60 years old today, and unlike so many of my previous birthdays I have not tried to take my pants off over my head due to the evils of drink.

My thoughts are enormous. My mind is a thing that is interesting. Chocolate milk is nice. I am halfway through my life. If I live to 120. Which is possible. I find it so strange that Pol Pot and Lon Nol had names like that. Lop Top. Nol Lon. I see words forward and backwards sometimes. What kind of a parent names their son "Lon" anyway?

*

The word "fondue" has always scared me. Is the opposite of fondue fon-don't? Funny.

*

Prime Minister Blair called earlier to wish me happy birthday. "Sixty is the new 59," he said and then laughed. I swear to the Lord I have no idea what he's talking about half the time. Maybe it's the accent but I find that almost everything he says sounds gay.

*

I have watched that tape a dozen times and I am convinced that Stephen Colbert was making fun of me that night.

*

What if I did this; what if I said, "History repeats itself," and then I wrote, "History repeats itself." That's like a mind game.

*

Mother would sing to me on my birthday. As would father and often Henry Kissinger, who would drag a sausage-like finger along the top of the cake before anyone had a slice and put it in his mouth and smile and say, "Ha-ha-ha. Mein auto es gruen." My car is green. Later, he and father would talk and inevitably father would say, "Hungary? Try Turkey on China." Kissinger never laughed.

*

Late, on those nights when sleep will not come, I find comfort listening to French for beginners. "Ou est le metro?" "En le jardin il y a un chat." I have no idea what they are saying but it sounds nice. "Pamplemousse" means "grapefruit." Rove is "mon petit pamplemousse."

*

December 31. Withdraw all troops. Then, convene session of the U.N. Say we must work together. Then, implement an energy policy built on conservation and renewable energy, smaller, more efficient cars. Even seeing those words written down makes me laugh.

*

I have been told that the women on cruises are unbelievable.

*

Seriously, though. How can history repeat itself if it already happened?

*

Confession makes us clean. I read that once. So I would like to confess something to myself. For much of my adult life I've thought that the word "profanity" meant "spacious." I was deeply embarrassed by this and so, for many years now, I have used the word at almost any chance I get to prove I knew its meaning. To this day it is not uncommon for me, in even casual conversation, to say, apropos of nothing, "Profanity means swears, swearing, like a bad word. Did you know that?"

*

What will be my legacy? I believe that it is three-fold.

One. His No Child Left Behind Unless That Little Child Is Black or French.

Two. The creation of coastlines in Kansas, Oklahoma and Utah, due to the disintegration of the polar ice cap.

Three. Poetry. At my core I believe that were I not an oilman or president of this great world, I would have been an artist. Here is a poem I wrote after taking my first ride on a New York City subway. It is entitled "Local Train."

Hey

You there

Yes you, the guy with the thing on his head

Hair that looks like he just got out of bed

Is your name Fred?

I see you, on this train, this tuna can of humanity.

Profanity

No, I don't want to buy peanut M&Ms for a dollar

Why is the man next to me flossing his teeth?

What is that smell?

Why are the Swiss so dull?

Seriously, what is that smell?

Damn. I missed my stop.

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