JIMMY

I am tired of Benjamin Franklin. We break up." I am bored," I tell him before I open my eyes. I donāt feel like I need a founding father. I need to stop thinking. I need to go for a ride. I want a man, a smart man, a great driver to take me for a ride. Jimmy Carter wasnāt a founding father. He was the 39th President of the United States. Thank God, he wasnāt Tricky Dickey. Jimmy told the country, "I lust in my heart." "Hey, Jimmy. I lust in my heart ·in my head too!" Secret dreams lurk, beneath the surface of my scalp, like ants, beneath the asphalt. My scar from the brain tumor is hidden in hair like a masked mogul, a mound. Terror.

I told Roy, in Hawaii, the secrets I remember. For days, I sat across from my husband at breakfast, lunch, and dinner looking straight at him. He stared at me. The Kaufman stares. Passed from father to son. In between my clips of history, heād watch football or basketball. Terror stare. Iāve recovered from them. He was a player. He held the power of the moment in his hand. The remote. CNN Live. Breaking news. The quarterback's broken leg. He broke my heart. He changed the channel. He didnāt remember. Break through in our relationship. In Hawaii, he listened to my fears. He listened to me. Wheelchair. Coma. Coffin. My stories about my terror appeared to feed him. Maybe they were his story, his terror. He kept pulling my eyes into his stare. He looked hungry. Hungry for history. His own father. I quipped, "You turn off lights so you canāt see back in time. You go for tomorrow." I explained, "I leave lights on so I can find hope for the future." My father-in-law loved me.

I know that Jimmy loved me too. Carter clutched the Plains of Georgia. I would have climbed in the car, next to him, our thighs hugging. A schoolmate remembered that Jimmy "was the smartest in the class." Like Ben, Jimmy loved boats and ships. Dickey··.what did he love··tricks? Jimmy Carter was appointed to the US Naval Academy. Ben, men, who help me dream, help me drive, have to be smart. They have drive. Dickey wasnāt smart, not to me. In the past, they held on to ships and horses. Today they drive cars. Big dick cars. Not. Big Breakable Tumblers. Porscheās. Lamborghiniās. Aston-Martinās. Maseratiās. Ferrarisā. Vettes. Vintage. Planes. Yachts. Black. Red. Silver. White. Woodie. Steel. Gliding over roads and water. Smooth as glass. Wheels over tar. Butts over breasts. Rolling. Going. Driving. Somewhere. Gliding over my body. Smooth body. Hands over hair. Rolling. Driving. Breaking. I feel the force of movement. Momentum propels men. The top is down. His soft breath, the wind caresses my face. He is running his hair like art on the road. Cars are menās engines for their dreams, I see men and their dreams. I dream. My dreams are my hands. I reach out. I stare at my ten red finger nails. I look to grasp the meaning of my dreams. They are integral to who I am.

Every day my head drives hundreds of miles. I skid home to become myself--whoever I am. The day slipped off like an untied robe. Who will carry tomorrow? How many rides and moments are in my future?