Below are undated excerpts from a “dream diary” recently found half-buried in a sand trap at a Florida golf course. The name Donald Trump is inscribed on the flyleaf in red pen, with the letter u in the shape of an adorable little heart. While a spokesman for the former reality TV star and beauty pageant owner would neither confirm nor deny that the diary is, in fact, Mr. Trump’s, he did promise to “sue the faces off of anyone in the filthy Lügenpresse” who dared publish a single entry from the leather-bound volume.
Strong words. But in light of Mr. Trump’s recent Electoral College victory, we feel it is in the public interest to share these excerpts. If the diary does, in fact, belong to the man once caught on tape bragging about grabbing women’s pussies and getting away with it because he’s famous, then surely this glimpse into the president-elect’s unguarded thoughts merits attention.
If, on the other hand, the diary does not belong to the man who appears to find mocking disabled people the height of humor ― well, by all means, we apologize.
After all, the last thing we wish to do is misrepresent the temperament of someone open-minded enough that he once told Howard Stern it was perfectly all right to call his own daughter, Ivanka, “a piece of ass”; a man who, over three decades, has somehow found himself, or his businesses, involved in more than 4,000 lawsuits ― scores of which are still pending; a man who, in James Fallows’ neat phrasing, “seems not to understand or care about the difference between truth and lies”; and a man who, in the wee small hours, can invariably be found tweeting at random strangers with the sort of shrill, unreasoning vitriol that calls to mind a teenager who just caught her boyfriend cheating on her with her BFF.
Shall we pull on our boots and wade in?
[Note: The following excerpts have been edited for grammar, spelling, and coherence.]
― Giuliani in a field of sunflowers, swinging one of those things with a long handle and a sharp, curved blade. What are they called? Death always carries one in cartoons. Oh, whatever. Orange storm clouds pile up on the horizon. I look down at my feet. They are delicate, lightly furred, and beautiful. I look up again. Rudy is running away. I am holding the thing with the long handle now, but my arms have no strength to swing it. The sunflowers are laughing and laughing. I’ll show them!
― Taking the oath of office. A large bird (Eagle? Pelican?) wearing a red baseball cap is perched on the Chief Justice’s shoulder. I look at the bird for guidance. The bird is not a bird at all. It’s Bannon in a bird suit. He is molting. His smile has no joy in it. No pleasure. It’s the angriest smile I’ve ever seen. In his talons he holds a big, black question mark. I wake up cooing like a dove.
― Alone in an empty room. I’m wearing a suit made in America. I feel cheap, and ugly. Melania rolls a wooden barrel with leather shoulder straps into the room. I change out of the suit and put on the barrel. There is a knothole in the side of the barrel that could not be more awkwardly placed. Melania turns away, frowning.
― Eric and Donald Jr. are in the mountains, giggling, covered in blood. They toss a snow leopard’s severed head back and forth, back and forth. The snow leopard’s eyes are open, staring, defeated. I swell with pride. My sons are winners.
― Putin in a bathing suit and heels. I place a tiara on his head and a scepter in his hands. The audience is silent. Putin winks at me. Something isn’t right. I go to the dressing room and hang out with the other contestants while they undress. I feel better.
― Back in military school. Everyone is on the parade ground except me. I am in my bunk. I can’t move. The sheets are tucked in too tight. I want to cry, but am not sure how. Abe Lincoln enters the room, wearing a sparkly top hat and a union suit many sizes too small. He stands next to my bunk, looking at me with eyes that are black, flat, dead. A doll’s eyes. He bounces a quarter off of my chest. Finally, the tears come. They shoot out of my eyes like fireworks. Abe stares. And stares. And stares.
― The Clintons and the Obamas in covered wagons, offering rides to people. So many people. Everyone is heading north. (Is Canada north?) I am riding a horse in the opposite direction. My teeth feel funny. My horse is shrinking. My feet drag on the ground. My teeth begin to move, like piano keys. I recognize the tune my teeth are playing. “This Land Is Your Land.” I don’t know the words. The sky is a TV. I turn it off.
― Sarah Palin in the billiard room with a lead pipe. Scariest. Dream. Ever.
― The guy from that old book, the one who traveled everywhere and met tiny people and huge people and horses who talked? What was his name? Gilligan? Anyway, I am him. I walk across a desert. In the distance is a wall. It looks big and beautiful. The closer I get, the smaller it is. I walk right up to it. It barely reaches my knees. I step over it. I am on the other side. I feel nothing.
― Eating a quiet supper in the White House with Pence. The Mall is right next door. A construction crane lifts a huge, pointy, white hood and sets it down on the Washington Monument. It’s a nice fit. The crowd on the Mall starts making noise. It sounds like cheering, then like shouting. It sounds like something bad might happen. I tell Mike to close the drapes. We get back to our supper. We’ll get down to work later, or maybe sometime tomorrow, after I’ve tweeted for a few hours. I have something really important to say. It can’t wait.