By: Cody DiCavalcante
For some reason, yesterday, I got the urge to write about John F. Kennedy. I wanted to write fully and appreciate him even though I have never read anything about him. I didn’t know a single thing about him yet I felt the need to write about him. I saw in my mind a picture of his smile and his power and needed to write something. This is for JFK.
I’m sitting here and I wonder, I wonder and wonder. The life of me has been great. I’ve made speeches, cast iron glances, and made friends with many across the world, even if at one time they were my enemies. It’s all a stage, I never hated them, I never feared them, I believed in them. I believed in this country, in this world, in this whole universe. I’ve had children and had a marriage. I’ve even gotten to see the White House, because I lived in it. My middle name is Fitzgerald. I love my middle name but most knew me as John. My last name sounded like a song bird that made its way through every living part of the world, Kennedy. I am so grateful to have been able to see a flag and keep it red, white and blue. I spoke words carefully, chose them and shined them up like sterling silver instruments before a big, beautiful dinner. I am Irish but I look American, I’m more American than the American, I am American-American. I wore a seersucker jacket and believed highly in the walk of a tennis shoe. The eyes of those when I was young, viewed me as a cliché, I wasn’t though. I wasn’t a damn doctor, or a Harvard scholar, I was me. I was me, for Christ’s sake and I loved every minute of it. My secretary hated my suits. I loved them. I diverted from the situation of appearing a skeleton, I let myself show the proportion that isn’t shaping. I was a man. A six-foot man with reason and logic and everything else everyone thought they could find in my clothes. You won’t find it there. I’m not like everybody else, I’ve got lion skin and I’m not afraid to touch it, feel it and realize I’m stronger than I appear. Women were my mothers, daughters, sisters, and lovers in every sense of the word. I loved them and they loved me. I’d like to thank you. I liked smiling. You may have noticed. I hope you did. I wanted the world to know that life could twist out happiness and gentleness through the lifting of lips.
My family had sacrificed, moved, become American’s due to a lack of potatoes. I was in for a real adventure. My mom and dad were struggling with a native identity. I tried to give it back to them by becoming the leader of this country; I knew I could take care of them. I hoped they watched me on TV. I hope they found me on every broadcast I ever poured my voice into. I think of a man, caring and willing to help others. He was helping everyone. He knew how to smile through a moustache. He knew that well. He had one but somehow you knew he had lips more than the shaven men. He had eyes like mine and they chased oceans, always that blue that wanted to swim. I also knew another one, who was a father of my caretaker. He sang “Sweet Adeline” and could pull it off sober. He loved my mom and prayed for her. He prayed and prayed and prayed and there she was. She was someone who could fly and pass on a beautiful portrait that I could use when I faced missiles, bombs, politicians, and hate. She recalls serenity, order, family affection, horse and buggy rides to her grandparents, climbing apple trees, and picking wild flowers. I can’t recall it but I can imagine it. My mother knew how to see the world. She saw it good. She would retreat with the others just like her at the beach, the others who rioted against solitude and the heat. My dad was a talented man and he saw the boys who became men by steel, cheap energy and railroads. My dad’s name was Joe. He liked rags-to-riches. He knew the power of will and recognized that talents would monkey-bar everyone to their success, he was willing to share.
I had a back that was tender and prevented me from pulling up a sock. I had to go through treatments while I knew I was going to be president. My primary fans while running were office were endocrinologists, neurologists and surgeons, urologists, and gastroenterologists. The names Dr. Seuss had been inspired by for his story book characters. They told me my health problems would be a threat to the nation. I became president. I’ve sat on a porch where the view was serene and the discussion was key. I wished to be the guy to put a wrench in the machine that threw out war, hate and violence on a conveyer belt. I wanted it to be over. I wanted to create 100% guaranteed satisfaction brakes that would put every use of weaponry on a permanent halt. I look back at the words I spoke, in a library of time, a library of God and I can see that he recorded every word. Every single word. I rose up. I rose up and I see my mother. The careful believer in all things beautiful. I sit here in a chair made out of wicker and wind, making creaking and cracking sounds of stars that are growing old but sustain my weight. I smile here upon a shadow that has truly walked with me every step of my life and life after and see that darkness isn’t all pain. My shadow taught me some of the best things I know. It taught me to see an outline of a man. It taught me to stare at my feet, not entirely but in increments. It taught me that I’m a mover, a groover and a shaker. I have danced a dance and called it my own. The best idea I ever had.