Monday, June 13, 2011

I was sitting in a circa 80s school bus. I wiped frost off my window and saw a televised speech by "the dictator of Poland." On the balcony of a building like a Bavarian cuckoo clock, a giant effigy of the dictator cleaved the air with his arms and harangued the crowd in Hitler fashion. He was a Macy's-balloon-sized puppet with a loudspeaker built into his throat.
My late paternal grandmother sat next to me across the aisle, babushka'd, staring at the front of the bus, apparently unaware of me. I started singing "Anyone Who Had A Heart," wondering if she could hear me, if she knew the song, if she liked Bacharach. I felt a sentimental tenderness toward everyone on the bus, as if I'd had a drink or two. Some little boys were stampeding down the aisle and trampling one another. I thought I should intervene, as when I sub at elementary schools. I joked with one of them about the Green Bay Packers logo stuck to his forehead. "A third eye, eh?" And suddenly I was Barack Obama in a Macy's parade, marching through Manhatten, beaming and waving at the throngs of cheering onlookers. But at the same time I was watching myself as if on television.

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