Mitt Romney Rolls a Hipster
Mitt was in a parking lot. They were paving and it was summer, so the asphalt smell was wicked. He saw the hipster get out of a Volkswagen and look lost as he tried to figure out how to get around the construction vehicles into the grocery store. Mitt didn’t have to smack him across the head, or drag him into the back seat of his Volvo; he didn’t have to wrap duct tape around his hands and stuff an oil rag in his mouth. But he did; he did it anyway.
The house was empty. Mitt dragged the hipster down the stairs into the basement. The first couple of days, he kept the hipster tied up, a bucket for his excrement, some water and a bit of food, but after a while, the hipster seemed to like his new existence: the spiders, the dark damp smell of coveralls, the rust on the paint cans. Mitt built him a cage and took the gag out; made a hatch in the bars to send in trays of food; left him with some magazines, mostly about fashion and hot rods.
“Bindy,” the hipster told Mitt, when asked what he wanted to be called. Mitt got him a necklace with the name engraved on it, and they often sat down to talk about politics mostly, because it was on both their minds. Republicans, Democrats, the weird people to the north and the destitute ones to the south, drugs, economy and employment, China, those Iranians. Bindy had many good ideas; Mitt wrote them down.
On Fridays, they ate fried chicken and Mitt told Bindy about the problems with his neighbours, especially the boor down the road (Gerald) who had nicked Mitt’s Volvo a couple of weeks ago and not apologized or paid for it. He’d just driven away, leaving a smear of red paint on Mitt’s green car. Since then, everytime Gerald had driven by, he’d swerved close to the Volvo; sometimes, late at night after some beers, Gerald yelled Mitt’s name from his house down the road.
“It’s disrespectful,” said Mitt, eating fried chicken skin. “It’s a Volvo, not a Ford.”
When Mr. Obama was elected in ‘08, Mitt injected Bindy with heroine because he wanted to try it. Bindy was wearing a track suit and a toque at the time, and started rambling about the election; they were all good ideas. By the time Mr. Obama moved into the White House, Bindy was onto crack. He was sure that Mr. Obama was going to deliver the country unto a toilet, and here were his reasons why, written into Mitt’s notebook. Twenty reasons why; then fifty; then two hundred. Each one came true. Each one happened, as reported by the newspapers, for Bindy was a prophet.
The love of ’08 turned into the delusion of ’09, and then the stink that came afterwards. Bindy said it for him, how could the most exciting moment be the one when you voted, shouldn’t the rest be good too, how could it not be, what was happening, when did we lose track of the good feeling? The crack feeling. The heroine. The god delusion. When Mitt made his decision, he was in the bathroom upstairs, looking at himself in the mirror, thinking about the questions Bindy had asked him.
Mitt went into town and shopped. That night, he made the fried chicken himself. In the basement, he ate with Bindy, did some meth with him, and then opened the cage. Bindy stepped out and took off his clothes; Mitt painted him with shoe polish, his chest and arms, his hands and feet, but most especially his face. The he dressed him in a suit, some nice shoes. And a red tie.
That evening, the dogs were barking because it was going to rain. Gerald was having a barbeque but hadn’t gotten into his beer yet. Mitt didn’t have a Volvo anymore; he drove a Lexus. A Porsche too. He and Bindy walked down the street, hand-in-hand. The neighbours stared; Mitt waved at them. The neighbours whispered; Mitt walked over their lawns to see how they were doing, what they wanted, what their hopes were and therefore what his should be. He knew what they were going to tell him; the words were already in his notebooks, dictated by his friend Bindy, the man at the edge of the driveway, on the sidewalk, the man with the velvet voice and the love of hot rods. The man with the red tie. The man from the grocery store.