"A Letter From Cell 217, Rikers Island, to Hilary Clinton, Regarding the Wearing of Pants"

Loren Victory

Dear Mrs. Clinton.

I once read one of those historical plaques neatly fixed into the brick of a fine, stately 'pied-a-terre', and I use the term given the most ‘generational wealth’ of qualities, which revealed, without much poetry, the story of a woman. The ‘estate’ itself was nestled on a tree lined street of Savannah or somewhere like that. I don't recall that I've ever been to Savannah, so I can't say for certain, but I've seen pictures, and this house and street, as I remember, looked very much like they would have belonged there. See, I've been known to binge heavily on meth-amphetamines and thus I can never be too sure of much.

I would not dare to ask if you have ever spent several days holed up in a house constructed of used particle board that seemed held together only by the residue of 12 people cooking off cleaning supplies and allergy medicine, but to say things get a bit foggy would be an all too subtle comparison. I’m pretty sure I masturbated a lot and had sex with people I might not normally let sit next to me on a bus. In actuality, this is not much different from what the rest of society is doing, but I honestly couldn’t tell you, as I sat on a couch, most likely clad only in loose underwear, my nipples covered with duct tape, which person I engaged in carnal acts with, if you lined up all eleven of them, one hour after.

But, it’s situational, if you know what I mean. We do strange things. When you need to fuck, cross your fingers that the person closest to you isn’t a relation of any kind. We all go out there with our genitals screaming for attention, hoping to find someone that we can fuck with abandon, regardless of their short, stubby fingers or their inability to find Sri Lanka on a map. I mean, what does it matter given the context of ‘life’. Am I supposed to care? If I am, shit, it’s a connection between a few brain cells that, when no one is looking, I can shove deep into the cluttered heap of the hallway closet and simply turn people away if they reach for the knob. “Here, I’ll take your coat. Have you seen the living room? I got this lamp at a garage sale. Can you believe it? Only $5. Do you like Chuck Mangione? I have Live at the Hollywood Bowl. It’s magic.”

So, this house and this street and this plaque told a story which engaged my memory to the point I remember most of it. Though vaguely.

Apparently, the woman who died in the house had a huge set of balls. Way back, when certain English people came over here to escape tyranny, only to kill off anyone they saw as not being participatory in attaining their dreams of one day creating a land where they might “do breakfast” with a choice of flat or sparkling water or buy an oXo Good Grips can opener at Sur la Table for $22.95, she had adopted the credo “drive it like you stole it.” See, her husband, a Lothario, well versed in making himself out to be an ass, soon outgrew his own charm and became nothing more than the sing-song of an ice cream truck who’s veins had long ago stopped pumping freon and who’s guts were an Impressionist’s palette of melted 50/50 bars and Sidewalk Sundaes. He made no contribution other than several colorful, yet historically inaccurate dioramas and forts made out of popsicle sticks, and was found dead at a relatively young age, drowned in a pickle barrel. I can’t say if it was murder or accident, as I don’t recall the question being answered in the brass lettering of the plaque.

This woman wasted little time and found her way through the saw dust and elephant shit strewn behind the tents of the circus her life had become and started pressing palms and cutting deals with the other land owners in whatever part of the country I was in at the time, maybe being somewhere in Georgia. She was cunning, ruthless and quietly amassed a fortune and wielded her prominence in all matters of local affairs. She became, over the years, one of the more respected gentry despite having tits and dropping an egg once a month.

And to say this wasn’t accomplished without some bending over in a back room to facilitate a deal or two might be somewhat naive, but I can tell you that I have done as much and for less. Incarceration has its privileges, but certain comforts can be more difficult to come by. And the nature of by which certain ‘favors’ transpire takes nothing away from the larger scope of what was accomplished here. Now, in the obvious relation of this story to your own life, I don’t mean to assume that you have dropped your trousers for the sake universal health care, or wrapped your lips around a strange cock in the process of trying to fast track a bill or two, but given my own history, I haven’t a leg to stand on.

So, good luck to you in your current campaign. I hope you don’t discount my incarceration and that fact that as a felon I am precluded from voting. I am quite encouraged and empowered by your attempt at clawing your way to the top of a man’s world, as I was, I think, when I had the opportunity to read the plaque that day.

Of course, if I could vote, it would be for the black guy.


Inmate 05E-4297133
Cell 217, Rikers Island


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