Anatomy of a Column
eggy Noonan was sitting in the dark in the Aviary (the name she gave to her penthouse, so small, so chic). She found the dark strangely soothing, calming even. “In the dark, no one can hear you think,” she mused as she sipped her third Mai Tai. Noonan had a headache, and the light hurt, so she sat in the dark, sipping, sipping, sipping.
“The dark,” thought Noonan, “is underrated, unloved, misunderstood. Like moths we rush to the light, never appreciating the softness of the night, soft edges, like well worn loafers, comfortable shoes.” She looked towards her feet, propped up on the ottoman, but couldn’t see them in the dark. But she knew that they were there, below her ample calves even if she could not see them, or feel them. She believed in them.
Unlike the current occupant of the White House, so young, so untested. The man was born in that optimistic period, Camelot, and came of age during the Reagan Years, he never had any wants or needs not met, so easy, such a life would be. He was handed the world on a platter, the golden goose…
The best of times and the worst of times. The problem today is that no one trusts that tomorrow will be better than today. The world was like that during the Carter years, too, the malaise, the lack of purpose. The problems were intractable, insurmountable, incurable, and that man, that wretched peanut farmer, just put a sweater on and told everyone to turn down the heat. She sipped thoughtfully, and nibbled on the pineapple wedge, so sweet, dribbling down her chin into her freckled décollatage.
“And then, Ronnie!” she declared to no one there.
Ronald Wilson Reagan, the greatest president of the last half of the last century, maybe the greatest president ever brought his incurable optimism to the country, the sad Jimmy Carter was washed away in a burst of California sunshine, so bright, so golden. “Yes,” she thought, “in 1982 inflation was over 20% and unemployment was in the double-digits, but we all had faith in Ronnie! It was morning in America then, but not so much now. Twilight, now it is twilight in America.”
“The biggest problem right now,” thought Noonan, “is not government spending, huge deficits, foreign ownership of our debt, world terrorism, two wars, pandemics of pig flu or nuts with nukes. The biggest long-term threat is that people are becoming and have become disheartened.”
The door from the hallway opened, and light spilled into the Aviary, and she saw the silhouette of a tall, broad shouldered man. He stepped into the room with a swagger. “Ronnie,” she whispered, suddenly demure, blinking in the bright light spilling into the room. Instinctively, her little bird like hands fluttered up to her ever-present pearl necklace.
“Aw, fuck,” her son yelled in from the hallway, “you forgot to pay ConEd again, didn’t you?”