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Winter 2006

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Fall 2005

Q
Martha Garvey

It's easy to imagine fucking certain Presidents, and you know which ones I mean. The ones with beautiful hair, and from the beginning, many presidents have had that-think Washington's eerie white corona, Lincoln's aw-shucks cowlick, Teddy Roosevelt's pelt, so fierce it needs its own horse. You will clutch their downy, brainy heads and push them toward your crotch, the locks of the leader of the free world on your loins.

Also easy: The ones with giant dicks-the dicks they like to display along with their surgery scars and their misguided wars. You will fuck that president with peculiar kindness, telling him that you know it was he who put through all the important civil rights legislation, blackmailing Southern senators to do the right thing-or let the public know about their Negro mistresses.

"Oh, filibuster me," you will sigh. And he will.

* * *

The edge of death makes presidential Eros easy. Easy to fantasize that you are mounting a man who will leave us too soon, or even, especially, one who serves longer than any other, wrenching the country out of the Depression, leading the country through a war that seems like the Last One. He will do this all from a wheelchair that he hides from the world, dwelling in a marriage more complicated than a mansion.

As you make love to him, you will notice how sweet his breath is, how young his eyes, how cleverly he moves, but you will say nothing, because what are you trying to say: "good sex for a cripple?"

Then a creak that does not come from the bed. You realize that the door is slightly ajar, and the shadow of a long, lantern-jawed woman will briefly enter the room. And you will almost expect shadow's owner to follow, straight into the bed. But she will move along to her own cavernous bedroom, with a sigh. And you will sigh, too. Because as she departs, so does some of his power.

And let us be honest: there are some kinds of easy that are not so pretty. Not that difficult, even if you are a Democrat, to imagine ravishing that man who so recently left us: he grinned us through the first plague years. Because however fake you knew his awesome confidence was, it remains ferociously contagious. You wanted a piece of that; even as you knew it might kill you. It grips you as you grapple: the sex feels clean, all-American, something the whole family could watch. You tell him not to use a condom, because his party didn't believe in that disease-so it didn't exist. You'd do all the work in his bed while he lay in the middle, shining like a big dumb candle. Only later on would you collapse, like the market of '87.

But now: stop. Sex isn't always easy. Sex with presidents shouldn't be a walk in the Rose Garden.

The president to truly fuck is not any of these. He was the son of a president, a graduate of Harvard, a man who lost the popular vote, and grievously insulted his opponent, a genuine war hero.

Not that one.

Not even I will go that far. The President to fuck is: Q. John Quincy Adams, the first son of a president to become president.

One disastrous presidential term, one gigantically productive life.

He will never be as great as his father John Adams-no matter what. Q's father helped birth America. Top that, Mr. Oedipus.

Q's nightmare-and he has them nearly every night, since he was a child-is that the country will tear itself apart again. That this wildly imagined country will disintegrate like a dream, over slavery. Q was a child when he watched the Battle of Bunker Hill from the top of Penn's Hill above his family's farm, blood in the air. His God will bless him in one way-Q will die before the Civil War erupts. Q collapses with a stroke on the floor of the Congress, where he had served, like no President before or after him, after he left the White House.

Imagine it-even St. Jimmy Carter wrung his hands of that mess, but Q, once the President, once the most powerful man in the land, took a genuine demotion, runs for Congress, over and over again, until he passes away on a couch in the Speaker's Room, still on the job. He remained in politics until the end of his life, against his family's wishes. No one quite knew why.

The gamble paid off. Toward the very end of his life, Q, his reputation refurbished, took on the case of his life: defending the African Cinque, and his fellow rebels, who revolted on the slave ship Amistad, only to run aground in America. America, not slaves, not free, jailed in limbo.

Q will orate for eight hours, riddled with pain and age, before the Supreme Court, and win not only the freedom of the Africans, but a basic acknowledgement of their humanity-and by extension, all the slaves in the United States.

But Q was not always sure he could keep fighting that battle, and that is when I want to meet him, before, when his wife had made him promise to leave politics. And the sex gods are good to me, and send me to Q, in the twilight of his first and only term.

Now, he is President, now he is in his prime.

Q: I will stalk him to the Potomac, where he swims each day. No policeman, no Secret Service, just-Q. Striding in the boggy Washington air toward his daily exercise. Some greet him, many don't. I am amazed, but this is a time before incessant images make our eyes bleed. They don't all know him.

Q is tired. He is running for President again, because that is what Presidents do, but it's a lousy fight. His battle against his old opponent Jackson goes badly. Everyone is playing dirty, including Q. Q wants to lose. He wants to go away to his farm and disappear.

I know this, and this is why I follow him.

I am dressed as a boy, because ladies don't go out this time of day, unless they are not ladies. And I walk a respectable distance behind him, but barely can keep up with this nearly 60-year-old man. He will stride to the banks of the river, and fling his clothes to the ground.

His body looks-old-fashioned. Q has a stocky farmer's body, low to the ground. The belly is there, but so is the power. The legs, so strong they will support him through an eight-hour argument before the Supreme Court, when Q is nearly 80.

I will stare at the cock so hard I nearly reveal myself. It is uncut, and lovely, resting in a downy nest.

And then Q plunges in the water, shaking his body like a joyous dog.

I watch him swim, and I touch myself. I touch myself because the 21 st century has numbed me, and because I am excited, hiding in the bushes, staring at a naked President.

And then, I am on the ground. Q's foot in my back.

"Assassin!" bellows Q, naked, wet, furious.

"No, Mr. President, not at all-look---I'm not armed.'

Q searches me, still naked, shivering, and when he discovers the truth of my body, he begins to laugh. His hand pulls back when he feels the breast beneath my shirt, but it doesn't move very far.

"Truly, my lady, the modern world is upon us," he chortles. "Andrew Jackson hires ladies to do his spying?"

"You don't know the half of it," I say. I look down. He is erect. And the President blushes.

"Where did you come from?" the President whispers.

"I have come to the future to fuck you," I whisper back.

He had a reputation for being cold and reserved, but he laughs again.

"Are you a harlot?"

"No."

"Are you a lunatic?"

"No, I'm a writer," I snap. I know I don't have much time. I name all of his family, his wife, his children, his political opponents. I hint at what is to come in the world, but I don't want to reveal too much.

Half-convinced, Q grills me. Knowledge arouses him. He asks me a question in Latin, which he has spoken since he was four, and I must blush, and tell him I don't speak Latin, or Russian, or French, and I feel a little ashamed. But he isn't.

"So English dominates the future," he marvels, shakes his head. He stays hard as he talks. Gentlemanly, he offers me his coarse black jacket while he remains naked. He wants to know all about the future-why worry about clothes? But finally, I stop him.

"I want something from you," I say. Then I take his ever-talking mouth in mine.

The kiss surprises Q, and he pushes me away, but he is naked, and I am not, and though he is a strong man, I know his secret weakness.

"Louisa Catherine," Q whispers. The name of his sad, brave, deeply depressed wife. The one who wants him to leave politics. Now.

"Sir-this isn't your first time. I've read the letters to the actress." He is not so different from our other presidents.

Q's eyes gleam with curiosity, and he clutches my arms. "So.those will become public knowledge?"

"Not until after you and Louisa are gone. Someday, the Adams family will be a virtual publishing industry," I report.

"Really," he preens, and he is hard again. Then he looks me in the eye. "When will you be born, young woman?"

"1963," I say, and I see where he is going with this.

"So you don't really exist, now," Q divines, writing a legal brief to defend his lust. Is fucking a woman in the 19 th century adultery if she won't be born until the 20 th , your honor? I submit not.

"Technically speaking, no," I say.

"And you want this old man's body? Why?"

"Because I want something from you. A promise."

It is still early morning-Q, the early riser-but the sleepy town of Washington stirs behind us. I pull my clothes off, and.we begin. I don't expect it to be good, but this is something else they may have been doing better in the old days. Q kisses me, and he licks me, and he marvels.

"In the 21 st century, will all women be such Amazons?" he whispers, touching my thighs, my triceps. He descends to my mound of Venus, but waits.

"Nothing has changed there," I say, and he laughs, and approaches.

His is a mouth that wants to know everything. His is a mouth that wants a response. His is a mouth that is unstoppable.

Did he do this for Louisa, to rouse her from her grief? I can't ask.

It doesn't take much. I think, "I am fucking the President of the United States," and I cry out, and it rings out on the banks of the Potomac.

And for the first time, Q stops moving.

"I have never seen a woman spend before," he whispers, awestruck as a child. I reach for him, but he pushes me away.

"No," he says. "You've given me enough. Now, tell me what you want."

"Promise me you'll stay in politics," I whisper. "No matter what."

"It will break her heart," Q says, sadly. "Louisa."

"You know it's already broken," and Q nods.

"Once she traveled from Russia to Paris by sleigh in the dead of the winter, with our young children," he sighs. "Now, she won't leave the house."

"Stay," I urge, and touch his cock, and will not let it go.

"Stay," I say, "You will help end slavery."

And then I tell him what all presidents want to hear. "You will never be forgotten."

And as he comes, he says, "Yes."