Shoes… part 4

The following is a work of fiction.
Pure fiction.
It’s sole purpose is give the reader a chance to try on another guy’s shoes.
Maybe see how a different opinion fits.
Or not.

August 8, 1974

You’ve taken off your comfortable size 11 penny loafers and slipped into the black dress shoes which had been laid out for you earlier. You lift the suit jacket from the brass valet and sling it over your arm, glancing out the side window one last time. The roses here are always so beautiful. You’re going to miss them.

It’s a particularly hot August this year, but strangely, you can’t feel the temperature. It’s as if your skin knows how inconsequential the weather is today. “They want to impeach me” you say under your breath but loud enough for the gentleman in the dark blue suit to hear.

“Yes sir”.

“In a sense, they’re blaming me for doing my job.”

“Yes sir.”

“They can’t possibly understand how important it was to know what the Democrats were up to back then – to stay one step ahead so my re-election wasn’t derailed. I didn’t just want to be re-elected you know. It wasn’t an ego thing like some are saying. I needed to be re-elected. The people needed me to stay their president. So much left to do. They still need me.”

“Yes sir.”

“They just don’t seem to know it. After all I’ve done for them. China. The draft. Everything. Hell, I even gave them the moon!” You let out a chuckle, but then slowly shake your head. “Still they want to impeach me. It wasn’t supposed to be like this.”

“No sir.”

“It’s not right you know. Whoever leaked the terrible rumour that started this – well it’s just not right. What my men did – that was my business, nobody else’s. They were just helping me find the enemy. Same way you look for termites when you know they’re there, but you just can’t see ’em.

“Loyal bunch. Damn, they were just protecting me and the country from the enemy. Those lousey dem- well. Well I’m not going to let them impeach me. Today I tell America I’m leaving office and that will be that. Gerry will have to figure out the rest.”

“Yes sir.”

“I’m just so disappointed they couldn’t see what I was trying to do for them. They just couldn’t see. And those two damned reporters – like children fighting over a hole in the ground – just couldn’t leave it alone. Had to keep digging. Prying.”

“Yes sir.”

A knock on the door draws your attention. Another suited gentleman enters and announces “Mr. President, it’s time.”

You look up, pulling the second blue suit into your dialogue. “This is just like sausage-making you know. People don’t want to to be told what goes into sausages they just want to grill them up and eat them.” You slip your arms into your jacket. “Government’s the same way. People don’t really want to know how it works, they just want their taxes low and their mortgages paid and have enough money left over to put their kids through college and gas in their cars.”

You walk toward the door and see the military escort waiting in the hall. You stop to salute. They each salute back. “Mr. President” one of them says, gesturing you to fall into place in front of him. You take another step forward, and then another. The last steps you’ll ever take down this corridor. You’re overcome with sadness.

“Funny thing is, it wasn’t the people doing the asking. Just the reporters,” you say to the blue suit beside you. “Deep throat. Bah. Americans shouldn’t have to know what their President has to go through to protect them from wrong-thinking people. To give them what they need. To keep them safe. They just shouldn’t have to know.”

As you turn the corner, the camera flashes start popping. You put on your best smile, raise your arm and wave to the crowd of reporters. And as you take in the profound image of The White House Rotunda crammed with people, you think righteously to yourself …

“… and that’s the way it should be.”