I still find it impossible to imagine Trump touching anyone except his daughter without pulling the full Mariah Cary and screaming for the hand sanitize the second he’s offstage. (Incidentally, why do so many of our most frothing anti-immigrant elite populists seem to have immigrant wives? I find all my non-scientific answers to be entirely unprintable. Perhaps an academic study could put it mildly.)
Mariana Hyde, The Guardian
Watching Donald Trump with his daughter Ivanka and the loving gentle treatment he is gives to her makes me compare it with his ill treatment of his wife, Malania, on the day of the Inauguration.
The difference in Trump's display of the public display of affection between his treatment of Ivanka, and the treatment of his wife, Malania, reminds me of Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man (1980 Vintage edition) where the protagonist is enlisted to chauffeur the White New England philanthropist, Mr. Norton, around the unnamed Southern Black college campus and stumble upon Trueblood and his transgressive narrative. I shall call my adaption of Chapter two, "Trueblood or To Move Without Movin.'"
TO MOVE WITHOUT MOVING
Did you see that, sir? I asked over my shoulder.
What was it?
The ox team sir.
Oh! No, I can't see it for the trees, he said looking back. It's good timber.
I'm sorry, sir. Shall I turn back?
No, it isn't much, he said. Go on.
Waves of heat danced above the engine hood. The tires sang over the highway. Finally I overcame my timidity and asked him:
Sir, why did you become interested in the school?
I think, he said, thoughtfully, raising his voice, it was because I felt even as a young man that your people were somehow closely connected with my destiny. Do you understand?
I slowed the car, trying to understand. Through the glass I saw him gazing at the long ash of his cigar, holding it delicately in his slender, manicured fingers.
Yes, you are my fate, young man. Only you can tell me what it really is. Do you understand?
I think I do, sir.
I mean that upon you depends the outcome of the years I have spent in helping our school. That has been my real life's work, not my banking or my researches, but my firsthand organizing of human life.
There is another reason, a reason more important, more passionate and yes, even more sacred than all the others, he said, no longer seeming to see me, but speaking to himself alone. Yes, even more sacred than all the others, he said, no longer seeming to see me, but speaking to himself alone. Yes, even more sacred than all the others. A girl, my daughter. She was a being more rare, more beautiful, purer, more perfect and more delicate than the wildest dream of a poet. I could never believe her to be my own flesh and blood. Her beauty was a well-spring of purest water-of-life, and to look upon her was to drink and drink and drink again . . . She was rare, a perfect creation, a work of purest art. A delicate flower that bloomed in the liquid light of the moon. A nature not of this world, a personality like that of some biblical maiden, gracious and queenly. I found it difficult to believe her my own . . ."
Here young man, you owe much of your good fortune in attending such a school to her.
I looked upon the tinted miniature framed in engraved platinum. I almost dropped it. A young woman of delicate dreamy features look up at me. She was very beautiful, I thought at the time, so beautiful that I did not know whether I should express admiration to the extent I felt it or merely act polite. Then however, I shared something of his enthusiasm.
She was too pure for life, he said sadly; too pure and too good and too beautiful. We were sailing together, touring the world, just she and I, when she became ill in Italy. I thought little of it at the time and we continued across the Alps. When we reached Munich she was already fading away. While we were attending an embassy party she collapsed. The best medical science in the world could not save her. It was a lonely return, a bitter voyage. I have never recovered. I have never forgiven myself. Everything I've done since her passing has been a monument to her memory.
He became silent, looking with his blue eyes far beyond the field stretching away in the sun. I returned the miniature, wondering what in the world had made him open his heart to me.
So you see, young man, you are involved in my life quite intimately, even though you've never seen me before.
But you don't even know my name, I thought, wondering what it was all about.
I suppose it is difficult for you to understand how this concerns me. But as you develop you must remember that I am dependent upon you to learn my fate. That way I can observe in terms of living personalities to what extent my money, my time and my hopes have been fruitfully invested. I also construct a living memorial to my daughter. Understand? I can see the fruits produced by the land that your great Founder has transformed from barren clay to fertile soil.
I think I understand you better now, sir, I said.
Very good, my boy.
Shall I continue in this direction, sir?
By all means, he said, looking out at the countryside. I've never seen this section before. It's new territory for me.
We were passing a collection of shacks and log cabins now, bleached white and warped by the weather. As we passed we could look through to the fields beyond. I stopped the car at his excited command in from of a house set off from the rest.
Is that a log cabin?
Yes sir, it is a long cabin, I said.
It was the cabin of Jim Trueblood, a sharecropper who had brought disgrace upon the black community.
It appears quite old, Mr. Norton said, looking across the bare, hard stretch of yard where two women dressed in new blue-and-white checked gingham were washing clothes in an iron pot. Both women moved with the weary full-fronted motions of far-gone pregnancy.
It is, sir I said. That one and the other who like it were built during slavery times.
Do you suppose those women know anything about the age and history of the place? The older one looks as though she might.
I doubt it, sir. They--they don't seem very bright.
Bright? He said, removing his cigar. You mean that they wouldn't talk with me? He asked suspiciously.
Yes, sir. That's it.
I didn't want to explain. It made me feel ashamed, but he sensed that I knew something and pressed me.
The children had stopped playing and now looked silently at the car, their arms behind their backs and their new over-sized overalls pulled tight over their little pot bellies as though they too were pregnant.
What about their men folk?
I hesitated. Why did he find this so strange?
He hates us sir, I said.
You say he; aren't both the women married?
I caught my breath. I'd made a mistake. The old one is, sir, I said reluctantly.
What happened to the young woman's husband?
She doesn't have any--that is . . . I--
What is it, young man? Do you know these people?
Only a little, sir. There was some talk about them up on the campus a while back.
Well the young woman is the old woman's daughter . . .
Well, sir, they say . . . you see . . . I mean they say the daughter doesn't have a husband.
Oh, I see. But that shouldn't be so strange. I understand that your people-- Never Mind! Is that all?
Well, sir . . .
Yes, what else?
They say that her father did it.
Yes, sir . . . that he gave her the baby.
I heard the sharp intake of breath, like a toy-balloon suddenly deflated. His face reddened. I was confused, feeling shame for the two women and fear that I had talked too much and offended his sensibilities.
And did anyone from the school investigate this matter? He asked at last.
Yes, sir, I said.
What was discovered?
That it was true--they say.
But how does he explain his doing such a--a--such a monstrous thing?
He sat back in the seat, his hands grasping his knees, his knuckles bloodless. I looked away, down the heat-dazzling concrete of the highway. I wished we are back on the other side of the white line, heading back to the quiet green stretch of the campus.
It is said that the man took both his wife and his daughter?
And that he is the father of both their children?
No, no, no!
He sounded as though he were in great pain. I looked at him anxiously. What had happened? What had I said?
Not that! No . . . he said, with something like horror.
I saw the sun blaze upon the new blue overalls as the man appeared around the cabin. He came and said something to the woman as he fanned himself with a blue bandanna handkerchief. But they appeared to regard him sullenly, barely speaking, and hardly looking in his direction.
Would that be the man? Mr. Norton asked.
Yes, sir. I think so.
Get out! He cried. I must talk with him.
I was unable to move. I felt surprise and a dread and resentment of what he might say to Trueblood and his women, the questions he might ask. Why couldn't he leave them alone!
I climbed from the car and opened the rear door. He clambered out and almost rant across the road to the yard, as though compelled by some pressing urgency which I could not understand. Then suddenly I saw the two women turn and run frantically behind the house, their movements heavy and flat-footed. I hurried behind him, see him stop when he reached the man and the children. They became silent, their faces clouding over, their features becoming soft and negative, their eyes bland and deceptive. They were crouching behind their eyes waiting for him to speak--just as I recognized that I was trembling behind my own.
I, I-- Mr. Norton stammered, I must talk with you!
All right, suh, Jim Trueblood said without surprise and waited.
Is it true . . . I mean did you?
Suh Trueblood asked, as I looked away.
You have survived, he blurted. But is it true . . . ?
Suh? The farmer said, his brow wrinkling with bewilderment.
I'm sorry, sir, I said, but I don't think he understands you.
He ignored me, staring into Trueblood's face as though reading a message there which I could not perceive.
You did and are unharmed! He shouted, his blue eyes blazing into the black face with something like envy and indignation. Trueblood looked helplessly at me. I looked away. I understood no more than he.
You have looked upon chaos and are not destroyed!
No suh! I feels all right.
You do? You feel no inner turmoil, no need to cast out the offending eye?
I'm all right, suh, Trueblood said uneasily. My eyes is all right too. And when I feels po'ly in my gut I takes a little soda and it goes away.
No, no, no! Let us go where there is shade, he said, looking about excitedly and going swiftly to where the porch cast a swath of shade. We followed him. The farmer place his hand on my shoulder, but I shook it off, knowing that I could explain nothing. We sat on the porch in a semi-circle in camp chairs, me between the sharecropper and the millionaire. The earth around the porch was hard and white from where wash water had long been thrown.
How are your faring now? Mr. Norton asked. Perhaps I could help.
We ain't doing so bad, suh. 'Fore they heard 'bout what happen to us out her I couldn't git no help form nobody. Now white folks is curious and goes outta they way to help. . . . Why, I guess there ain't a colored man in the county who ever got to take so much of white folkses' time as I did.
He talked willingly now, with a kind of satisfaction and no trace of hesitancy or shame. The old man listened with a puzzled expression as he held an unlit cigar in his delicate fingers.
How can he tell this to white men, I thought, when he know they'll say that All Negroes do such thing? I looked at the floor, a red mist of anguish before my eyes.
I have to tell you 'bout the dream.
I looked at Mr. Norton and stood up, thinking that now was a good time to leave; but he was listening to Trueblood so intensely he didn't see me, and I sat down again, cursing the farmer silently. To hell with his dream!
I wake up intendin' to tell the ole lady 'bout my crazy dream. Morning done come, and it's gettin' almost light. and their I am lookin' straight in Matty Lou's [his daughter now pregnant] face and she's beatin' me and scratchin' and tremblin' and shakin' and cryin' all at the same time like she’s havin' a fit. I'm too surprised to move. She's cryin', Daddy, Daddy, oh Daddy,' just like that. And all at once I remember the ole lady. She’s right beside us snorin' and I can't move 'cause I figgers if I moved it would be a sin. And I figgers too, that if I don’t move it maybe ain't no sin, 'cause it happened when I was asleep--although maybe sometimes a man can look at a Little ole pigtail gal and see him a whore--you'all know that? Anyway, I realizes that if I don’t move the ole lady will see me. I don't want that to happen. That would be worse than sin. I'm whisperin' to Matty Lou, tryin; to keep her quiet and I'm figurin' how to git my self out of the fix I'm in without sinnin'. I almost chokes her.
But once a man gits his-self in a tight spot like that there ain't much he can do. It ain't up to him no longer. There I was, tryin' to get away with all my might, yet having to move without movin'. I flew in but I had to walk out. I had to move without movin'. I done think 'bout it since a heap, and when you think right hard you see that that's the way things is always been with me.
Mr. Norton, sir, I said in a choked voice, it's time we were getting back to the campus. You'll miss your appointments . . .
He didn't even look at me. Please, he said, waving his hand in annoyance.
Finally someone cleared his throat and looked up to see Mr. Norton staring silently into Jim Trueblood's eyes. I was startled. His face had drain of color. With his bright eyes burning into Trueblood's black face, he looked ghostly. Trueblood looked at me questioningly.
Listen to the young’uns, he said in embarrassment. Playin' 'London Bridge's Fallin' down.
Something was going on which I didn't get. I had to get Mr. Norton away.
Are you all right sir? I asked.
He looked at me with unseeing eyes. All right? He said.
Yes, sir. I mean that I think it's time for the afternoon session. I hurried on.
He stared at me blankly.
I went to him. Are you sure you're all right, sir?
Maybe it’s the heat, Trueblood said. You got to be born down here to stand this kind of heat.
Perhaps, Mr. Norton said, it is the heat. We'd better go.
He stood shakily, still staring intently at Trueblood. Then I saw him removing a red Moroccan-leather wallet from his coat pocket. The platinum-framed miniature came with it, but he did not look at it this time.
Here, he said, extending a banknote. Please take this and buy the children some toys for me.
Trueblood's mouth fell agape, his eyes widened and filled with moisture as he took the bill between trembling fingers. It was a hundred-dollar bill.
I'm ready, young man, Mr. Norton said, his voice a whisper.
I went before him to the car and opened the door. He stumbled a bit climbing in and I gave him my arm. His face was still chalk white.
Drive me away from here, he said in a sudden frenzy. Away!
I saw Jim Trueblood wave as I threw the car into gear. You bastard, I said under my breath. You no-good bastard! You get a hundred-dollar bill!
The End--For Now
MY EPILOGUE IN TUNE WITH RALPH ELLISON'S INVISIBLE MAN
Let me be honest with you, I don't know if Donald Trump is having sex with his daughter, Ivanka (YouTube video), but for me, it is debatable. I am only going on appearances and appearances can be deceiving. However, the Bible states, "A man will leave his father and his mother and he must stick to his wife and they must become one flesh," but like Lot, some daughters think more of their fathers than his wives.
In alliance with Ellison's Invisible Man, when, even as just now I've tried to articulate exactly what I felt to be the truth, no one was satisfied--not even me. On the other hand, I've never been more loved and appreciated than when I tried to "justify" and affirm someone's mistaken beliefs; or when I've tried to give my friends the incorrect absurd answers they wished to hear. In my presence they could talk and agree with themselves, the world was nailed down, and they loved it. They received a feeling of security. But here was the rub: Too often, in order to justify them, I had to take myself by the throat and choke myself until my eyes bulged and my tongue hung out and wagged like the door of an empty house in a high wind. Oh, yes, it made them happy but it made me sick so I became ill of affirmation, of saying "yes" against the nay-saying of my stomach--not to mention my brain.
DONALD TRUMP FATHER AND LOVER
David Cay Johnston in The Making Of Donald Trump (2016) tells a story of Trump's libertine nature is always on display. After what is known as "the Polish Brigade" trial, Trump stopped using the alias John Barton, he switched to the name John Miller. This deception also came to light, but that didn't stop him from resurrecting John Miller during the 2016 campaign.
Trump's narcissistic nature makes him addicted to the media for attention, so he like to plant fake stories about himself as a businessman and as a lover. Using the name John Miller he would call various media outlets touting the exploits of Donald Trump. "The major news organizations would report on the romances of a real estate developer is a testament to trump's success in creating public interest in his life, or at least those aspects he wanted covered: Trump the Modern Midas and Trump the Great Don Juan."
Miller phoned called Sue Carswell, a reporter for People magazine telling her the Trump's living with Marla Maples and he's got "three other girlfriends,” Miller continued describing an intense competition to become the second Mrs. Donald J. Trump. "When he makes the decision, that will be a very lucky woman . . . competitively, it's tough. It was for Marla and it will be for Carla" Bruni, who Miller had bragged had to hots for Trump.
Carswell's People magazine story began in a most usual way: "There are interesting stories, there are moving stories and there are funny stories. And there are stories that are simply bizarre."
After hearing the tape that Carswell had made of the Miller interview, Maples told People she was "shocked and devastated . . . I feel betrayed at the deepest level." She added that she doubted Trump was with Bruni. "I think he's making this whole thing up to get a playboy image," she said.
A WOMAN SCORNED
In October, Marla Maples appeared on Designing Women, a long-running CBS sitcom that often used humor to explore serious topics, in an episode called "Marriage Most Foul." [Season 6 now deleted from YouTube.] The plot was about men who were dishonest in business, two-timed their women, and were dishonest in business, two-timed their women, and were under-endowed. Maples appeared on screen as herself, and the show's regular characters asked her a series of obvious questions. One was whether it was true, what Maples was quoted as saying in the New York Post. On February 16, 1990, Trump's grinning face filled the Post cover next to what Maples had supposedly told her real-life girlfriends: "Best Sex I Ever Had." Not true and never said it, Maples answered, looking directly into the camera as the actresses discussed in mock that that a newspaper would ballyhoo a made-up story. Designing Women being entertainment, not journalism, it may be that Maples was just kidding.
The episode ended with actress Dixie Carter's character phoning Trump: "Hello? Mr. Trump? I hope I'm not disturbing you. I'm just calling you to say--on behalf of the American public--Mr. Trump, we no longer care who you date, we really don't. You are no longer obligated to alert the news media every time your pants are on fire because we don't care."
More than two years after that episode aired, the competition to pick the next Mrs. Donald J. Trump ended. The winner was Marla Maples, the long-suffering mistress Trump had publicly humiliated more than once, and the only woman on John Miller's list who had actually slept with Trump. Two months before the wedding, she gave birth to Trump's second daughter, Tiffany, whose future breast size Trump would speculate about on national television before the baby was a year old.
Years later, Trump was handed an opportunity to clear up the matter. Instead, he revived the myth that he had had an affair with Carla Bruni, who has referred to Trump as "the King of Tacky." It happened during one of Trump's many guest appearances on Howard Stern's radio show. Stern, his co-host, and his guests engage in crude sexual banter, try to encourage women guests to show their breasts, and debate whether they are aroused or turned off by various women in the news.