Welcome to the Writer's Place: The President

On the eve of his assassination November 21, 1963 President John F. Kennedy summoned Pierre Salinger, his Press Secretary, to a private conference in the President's oval office. "Pierre, I am embarking on a very dangerous mission." "Yes, Mr. President. How can I help you?" questioned Pierre. The President replied, "You and the C.I.A. are the only people I can confide in to accomplish such an undertaking as this one. I want to go to Moscow and pay a visit to a Soviet General....General Miroslav. When I meet him in Moscow, he has already agreed to deliver to me the Soviet Union's interballistic missile secret codes. In return for his services, I will allow him to defect to the United States under our protective custody. Once we have those codes in our possession, we'll be able to deactivate the Soviet's entire missile system. Thus, we'll be able to prevent an immediate threat to the safety and welfare of our Country."


"How exactly do you plan to accomplish this, Mr. President?" asked the very debonair French-American man, Mr. Pierre Salinger. Brazilian cigar smoke filled the air from Pierre's ashtray. Salinger's bushy eyebrows moved up and down during the dialogue with the President. Salinger's mixture of an intense and charismatic personality came from his father an American-Jewish mining engineer and his mother a French-born Catholic. Much to the approval of Jacqueline Kennedy, the President's wife, Pierre brought some class and style to the White House's image. The President replied, "After getting those secret codes, I plan to send some B-52 bombers to an area around the Arctic Circle and we'll jam all of the Soviet's missile defense codes."


Pierre asked, "When would you want me to make arrangements for the meeting, Mr. President?" The President confided, "Contact the C.I.A. to arrange our meeting at 6 a.m. by Tuesday. Get me on the plane in time to make that meeting!" "Yes Mr. President. By the way sir, the press is out in the hallway. Can they come in to speak with you for a moment sir?" "Yes, yes, invite them in. I'll come up with something to tell them."

Suddenly a knock was heard at the door. Two women nurses dressed in white uniforms entered the darkly-lit room. One of the women said, "Time for your medication, Mr. Morgan." She gently whispers into the ear of the other woman, "Poor man! He thinks he's President Kennedy. He carries on these conversations with imaginary people frequently. Just act like you don't notice." The other woman pushed Mr. Morgan's wheelchair out of the room. The distraught man started flagging his arms from side to side as he said, "Don't worry! My intentions are good. I just want to make a peace agreement with Nikita Khrushchev. Nothing more. Just peace plans." The door closes behind him and the two women. An empty hospital room is left behind while the imaginary cigar smoke dissipates into the dimly-lit room.

Mariam Greenwood - copyright 2007 (mgreen@nova.edu)

Sent to Polseguera on 24th December, 2007

Poems and short stories by Mariam Greenwood:

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