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The Random American

The Random American

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The Random American

330 pagine
5 ore
Apr 20, 2012


“The Random American” is a contemporary book that will warm the hearts of the thousands of “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrators and their silent supporters. A clear majority of American voters are fed up with a Federal Government that is corrupt, non-representative and unfair. The young fight back and take to the streets and risk beatings, gassing, and pepper spray instigated by those in power, but will their efforts accomplish anything? The Random American offers a fantasy with the potential to restore true representative government to America and the two-party system that has been taken over by the corporate world and the rich. It does so with a peaceful revolution led by the most unusual of heroes, Rosalinda Gonzales, a lesbian Chicana glass worker from New Mexico, who when pummeled by the best and worst that Washington D.C. has to offer, rises from the canvas to win.

Apr 20, 2012

Informazioni sull'autore

Clint is an old dog trying to learn new tricks in a digital world. Born in New Mexico in 1933, he has lived most of his life in Arizona and now resides in Patagonia. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army and earned a PhD in Behavioral Psychology under the GI Bill at the University of Illinois. After teaching at Pomona College and the University of Arizona for ten years he made custom furniture for thirty years. He is an avid tennis player, fly fisher and reader.

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The Random American - Clint Trafton


A Political Fantasy


Clint Trafton

Copyright © 2012 by Clint Trafton

Smashwords Edition

This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This eBook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. Please do not participate in or encourage the piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19


Rosie struggled to find the armhole, feeling, not ready to open her eyes completely. The doorbell rang again, followed by an insistent knock on the door. Alright already, she muttered: She found the sleeve and the gown, a tired green, red, and yellow kaleidoscope vision from Victoria's Secret, slithered into place. Rosie automatically picked up her cigarettes and tapped one out. She walked into the living room accompanied by simultaneous ringing and knocking.

I hear you! Jesus!" Rosie pulled aside the curtain covering a small window in the door. Woman. Gringo. Forty-five or so. Big woman.

What the hell is this?, Rosie thought as she opened the door to the end of the chain. This better be good.

The woman wore a blue puffy down jacket with a hood in the December cold. Snowflakes melted into it as they hit.

Rosalinda Gonzales?

Who wants to know? We're talking official here, Rosie thought. Nobody calls me Rosalinda.

The woman's words came out in small frozen clouds. 'My name is Samantha Hendricks. I'd like to talk to Rosalinda Gonzales.

You a cop? You tryin' to collect for the traffic ticket? What? Rosie panicked. That ticket went all the way back to June, she thought. I'm broke if that's the deal.

''No. No. Nothing like that. I just need to speak to her. Are you she?"

''Yeah. I are she and it are five-damn-thirty in the morning." Rosie took a furious drag on the cigarette. Her hair stood on end on the top of her head and was matted down on both sides, a banty hen in a faded gown preparing to attack as twin streams of smoke fired out of her nostrils.

Look, I just need to talk to you. I've got some important news for you that can't wait. Can I come in?

Rosie considered for a second and then, with a sigh, released the chain and backed away. Come on in. Sit down. She motioned toward a tattered brown easy chair and sat down on the mismatched floral couch, the only piece of furniture she had bought new. As she knocked the ash off her cigarette in a half-full ashtray, she noticed a marijuana roach in the bottom. The hell with it, she thought. So what's so important?

Sam Hendricks eased into the chair, which squeaked in protest. Rosie judged the squeak at about 180 pounds, cup size 40DD. Hips 50. But the legs protruding from the red skirt were surprisingly shapely and trim. The woman's face was friendly and warm but her size, a large nose and bad complexion kept her from being pretty.

Sam looked around. Messy but basically clean, paperbacks and magazines everywhere, an ancient looking TV in one corner loaded with a staircase of videotapes stacked precariously on top. She leaned forward in her chair to get closer for her answer.

At eight o'clock this morning, the New Mexico State Special Elections Board will hold a press conference in Santa Fe. They're going to announce the selection of the RAP candidate for the United States Congress. She leaned back and waited for a response.

Rosie waited too. Finally, So?

Do you know what RAP means? Random American Person? Do you read the papers? Did you vote? This could be bad, Sam thought. Hello. Anybody in there?

Rosie remembered her perfect long-weekend vacation in the Jemez Mountains at election time. The inn and private hot tub had wiped out her stash, but it was worth it. She and Angie had a ball. The last thing either one of them thought about was voting.

I know what RAP is, she said. I'm alive. That's all they talk about on the news lately. What about it? And what do you care if I voted? Who are you anyway? Comin' around here wakin' me up to ask questions.

It was my idea,Sam said. RAP, I mean. Me and a few others have been running around the state for the last four years talking it up trying to get a referendum on the ballot. Then last year I got a multimillionaire interested and was able to organize speakers and advertising and so forth and we did it. We not only got the referendum on, but it passed. This year was the first time RAP was on the ballot and it won.

Sam launched herself out of the chair and stood before Rosie, her brown eyes intense. We did it! This little ol' state is making national history. I can't believe it. The State Supreme Court dismissed the last suit trying to stop it. The Special Elections Board had to pick a RAP candidate for the House of Representatives. Sam grasped Rosie's arms, transmitting a tremble of excitement. You've been picked. You're the new Congresswoman from New Mexico. You're it. All you have to do is say yes. How does that grab you?

Rosie heard the words but they wouldn't sink. Sam's grasp made her uncomfortable. Yeah right, she said. What is this? Candid Camera or something? But in spite of her doubts Rosie could feel her heartbeat go up.

Sam felt Rosie tense up and released her arms but stayed put in front of her, hands on hips. Look, Rosalinda... can I call you Rosalinda? You can call me Sam. How much do you know about RAP?

Make it Rosie. I know a lot about it. It's kind of like none-of-the-above except they pick somebody. I couldn't believe they let the law go through. Rosie felt her face redden as she broke into a wide grin. She jumped up, bumping Sam into retreat. Man, are you tellin' me I won?

That's what I'm telling you. Exactly. The voters didn't like anyone on the ballot. They voted RAP and got a random American person. You're it. if you want it.

I'd go to Washington?

You got it. Representative Rosalinda Gonzales from District One in New Mexico.

Rosie was getting pumped up. I like the sound of that. How much money would I make?

$168,000 a year. Plus benefits.

Jesus, thought Rosie. How'd they pick me? Like in the lottery, right? Now she paced as Sam sat back down.

That's right. You were picked like a lottery from the census. From a list as close as the New Mexico Census Bureau could come to every eligible citizen.

Hey man, that's wild. I am registered. But that's just because Mama went with me to motor vehicles to renew my driver's license. She bugged me to register at the same time. She's all political. Volunteers for the Democrats and stuff. Just for a moment Rosie backed into suspicion. How did you know I'd been picked if it's not going to be announced 'til eight o'clock?

I've been in government work for twenty five years. Ten of it for Senator Anaya. I've got friends in Santa Fe. They told me. And it doesn't matter if you were registered or not. They picked from every eligible adult citizen on the census who lived in this district.

I don't know man. Thoughts raced through Rosie's head. No privacy. Remember Clinton a few years ago? Guy couldn't even get a blow job without a year's headlines. They'd have even more fun with me. Still, excitement kept flooding through her.

Looks to me like you could use the money. Sam made a general waving motion around the room. "How about making history? How about doing something good for the people in your district?'

You sound like Mama.'Doing something good for my people.' That's her line.

The doorbell rang and both women looked out as Rosie pulled the curtain aside. A van was parked in the driveway, a large NBC logo on the side and sporting a V-shaped antenna. Outside the door, a well dressed man smiled at them.

Looks like I'm not the only one to get the word, Sam muttered as Rosie pulled the curtain closed. She made a quick decision. Rosie, don't let them in and don't go outside. You're not dressed for it and these guys are vultures. They'll have a camera on you and try to make you look as bad as they can. Talk through the door. Tell them you plan to hold a press conference later today. Better yet, let me talk to them.

Rosie laughed. A press conference? Are you kidding me?

Nope, said Sam. It's a whole new ball game now Rosie. Unless you say no to the whole thing, she thought, but she already knew that wouldn't happen. The doorbell was at it again and Sam moved to answer. The phone started ringing and Rosie opted for that.

Sam opened the door to the end of the chain, speaking before the man could launch his question. My name is Samantha Hendricks and I am Rosalinda Gonzales's representative. Miss Gonzales will hold a press conference later this evening to announce her intentions with respect to the election results. We will notify the press as to time and place. She closed the door as the man continued to ask questions.

Well, I guess I am but we're going to have a press conference, Rosie said into the phone. Yeah, of course I was surprised, wouldn't you be? That's a dumb question, man. Rosie made a face at the caller through the receiver. Sam stood next to Rosie making frantic slicing motions across her throat and mouthing, Hang up. She even reached for the phone, placing her hand over Rosie's.

Rosie jerked the phone out of reach. Glaring at Sam, she said, Hey man, knock it off. Then, to the caller, Look, I gotta get ready for work, and hung up. The phone immediately started ringing again as Rosie angrily faced Sam. You don't do that to me! You don't put your hands on me, you don't say things with my mouth, you don't touch my things unless I say so. You dig?

Sam knew she was in trouble. She didn't want to lose her. Okay, okay. I'm sorry. She raised both hands in front of her, a gesture of peace. Look. Stay home from work today. We need to talk. You're in deep water with a fast current. These people don't want to know about you and what kind of Congresswoman you'll make. They want a story. They want you to look bad. Politicians are supposed to look bad. It sells more papers and gets higher TV ratings. You're a novelty, since you were picked by RAP, but nothin's different about them, believe me.

Both the phone and the doorbell were ringing. Someone was knocking at the back door. I can't stay home, Rosie said. We've got a big order we're already behind on. But I can't deal with this shit either. She gestured at the surrounding

din. You deal with it. I'm getting dressed.

For the next hour, Sam alternated between the door and the phone making her speech about the evening press conference as Rosie dressed and prepared a lunch. Only one call was for Rosie, personally. Someone named Angie.

At seven forty five, Rosie walked a gauntlet of reporters and cameras as Sam held them off. Rosie was dressed for work: jeans, sneakers, heavy jacket, University of New Mexico Lobos baseball hat with a long black pigtail through the hole above the clasp. Except for a couple of lines in her face, she looked like a hundred pound thirteen-year-old, off to school, complete with sack lunch and basketball. She only stopped once to deliver a No comment. Her Camaro was parked in the driveway and as she started to back out she squeal-stopped and rolled down the window, yelling at a cameraman whose camera was focused on her exit, "Oyez cabron, get out of the flowers. Where's your manners."

Two men muscling aluminum-clad windows up onto a rack on a flatbed truck for delivery paused as the woman walked by. She nodded and smiled, Hey guys.

Her white tennies squeaked on the concrete warehouse floor.

"Hola Angie. Howya doin'?,"

Okay, now that I'm inside. I had to push my way in through ten or fifteen reporters and camera guys out there. Have they been there all day?

Since about nine. Tryin' to talk to Rosie. The boss had to kick 'em out. He's got her holed up in the etching room. As Angie continued past the rows of framed and unframed glass panels, her short black leather jacket somehow emphasized the tightness of her white waitress dress across her buttocks. The men watched every step until she turned into another room.

Ain't that a damn waste? one said, shaking his head and smiling appreciatively. I'd like to be a mouse and watch. replied the other.

Angie Cortero knew they watched. She even added a little sway to the action for their pleasure. Eat your heart out, guys. It was fun.

Rosie was just shutting down when Angie entered the windowless room. A glass pane mounted in the center of the table sported a skinny etched caricature Indian with a droopy head feather holding a spear. Rosie pointed at it. I've got to cut out eight more of these. Some rich dude in Placitas wants sixteen with that pattern for den windows. Can you believe it?

Angie waited for Rosie to clean her hands and remove a leather apron before she put her arms around her and kissed her passionately, holding on even after Rosie pulled her head back. The two were almost the same height but Angie carried 30 more pounds of attractive softness on thigh, buttocks, and breasts. At twenty five, she was ten years younger than Rosie.

Do you really think you'll do it? Angie asked. Her dark brown eyes were full of fear, still holding on.

Why not, baby? It's not like I'm leaving some high-paying corporate job. It's a paid vacation in Washington, DC. More money than you and I make by a hell of a lot. What've we got to lose?

I'm afraid, Rosie. You watch the news. That place looks awful to me. The Republicans hate the Democrats, lawyers all over the place. Nobody goes anywhere without a bunch of reporters and cops around. Remember how they bullied hell out of Monica Lewinsky? You want to live that way?

Nobody's gonna pay any attention to me. I'm not the President. Come on baby, relax. You can quit that waitress job and getting up at four in the morning. Gently, she released herself from Angie's hug. Sometimes, Rosie thought, Angie seems more like 85 than 25, afraid of trying anything new.

"They're already paying attention to you. I saw you on the noon news. Getting into the car this morning. They made a big deal over the basketball. That, and calling that guy a cabron. They're outside right now."

Yeah, I know. They act like it's amazing somebody shoots hoops. Sam was right. She said there would be cameras on me all day. They had cameras on me and the guys' game of horse at lunch break. She lifted her chin in the direction of the two men in the warehouse and grinned. Now I got proof I kicked their butt.

Who's Sam? Angie was immediately suspicious.

Take it easy, Angie. She's the one I talked to this morning. She wants to work for me. Be my aide. How do ya like that? An aide. She says I'll need three or four at least.

To do what?

I don't know. Make up laws I guess. But it can't be too complicated if Joe Serna can do it.

They both laughed at that. They had gone to Albuquerque High with Serna who barely graduated after five years but was now a state Senator.

Sam swallowed her last spoonful of the green chili stew and followed it with a bite of tortilla, liberally buttered, rolled into a funnel and flattened. The man across from her looked on in amazement. Their booth in the airport restaurant was surrounded by Mexican paintings on velvet, fake plastic chili ristras and flower arrangements. The waiters wore sashes and even at noon strolling mariachis offered to play at your table for three dollars a tune.

I don't see how you eat that stuff. There's no taste to it. It's more like eating fire, he said. The remnants of his bacon and egg meal lay in front of him, his second order after the first burning taste of the chili stew recommended by Sam. He was dressed in a dark blue suit and red tie, the look favored in politics, but his

attire was badly in need of pressing. His balding head had a sheen of oil and sweat surrounded by a ring of thinning black hair. A round-faced-dressed-up monk.

You get used to it, Marty. You have to develop a taste. Then you love it. Sam pushed her empty bowl aside and pointed at his full one. You gonna eat that?

So what's she like? he asked as he pushed the bowl over and took out his small black notebook, one of over a hundred that he had used up over the years for interview notes, facts, and gossip. Notes that had helped make Martin L. Goldman a Pulitzer Prize winner and best-selling author of books exposing government waste, spending and inefficiency. He had appeared on a host of national television shows including Larry King Live, Good Morning America, 20-20, and C-Span, and had appeared before governmental committees on the subject. He and Sam had been close friends for years.

"Well, she's a skinny little thing but she's kind of pretty. Kind of a chicana Audrey Hepburn with a chihuahua's disposition. Barks at everything. Thirty five. She seems bright enough. High school diploma. Half a dozen university classes at night. Works in a glass cutting and window framing business. Never married. She's totally uninvolved in politics and thinks all politicians are crooks and hasn't voted for ten years."

Do you like her?.

She seems okay. Definitely not what I had in mind working for RAP all these years, Sam said. I had more in mind a female college professor. Preferably, one who teaches political science. But I gotta count my blessings. I could have wound up with some right wing fundamentalist Christian preacher. A New Mexico version of Jerry Falwell. But he wouldn't hire me anyway and RAP would have a rocky start, that's all. It's a chance worth taking. You take the bad with the good. If the idea of RAP catches on, lots of those randomly picked people will be good for the country. Anyway, it's the only way I can think of to get anywhere near real representative government, which is supposed to be the idea.

You've got your work cut out for you my friend, said Goldman.

You ain't heard nothing yet, said Sam. I've only spent an hour and a half with her. But when I was at her place this morning, I noticed what might be the killer item. She paused for a swallow of coffee. She lives with another woman and there is only one bed in the house. I don't think they take turns using it.

It took a while for Marty to digest that revelation. The Christians will love that. He thought it over some more. The media will adore it. Did you meet the other woman?

No. She works an early morning shift at a cafe. She'd already left when I was there.

The waitress refilled their cups and Marty took a noisy sip. This coffee tastes like it's got chili in it, he said, glaring at it as if he could tell by its appearance. Has she hired you? Us?

No. Not yet. She knows I want to work for her but we haven't really had time to talk. Enough to know I want to do it and enough to know she seems reasonable and that her mom is a local Democratic activist.

Sam, are you sure we want to do this?

We've got to, Marty. This is it. I've been working on this for years. We've spent over a million bucks of Brannigan's money. We won. We got RAP and our random American. if Rosie looks bad and screws up, we'll lose the best chance government's had in a hundred years of being really representative, not just a collection of greedy hacks. We've gotta help her. Get her goin'. Show her the ropes.

A Mexican lesbian glass cutter?

Marty, don't get cold feet on me now. The Republicans just won the Presidency for the twelfth straight year. They appointed the majority of the Supreme Court. They've got a majority in the Senate by two votes and the House by one. Now's our chance. Rosie could be the deciding vote with the House that close.

Sam took the last bite of her second chili stew and continued. "She's not from Mexico either, so we don't use that word again, OK? She's a chicana, a Hispanic, a Latina, take your choice. She was born in the USofA. She's an American. People around here don't take lightly to being mistaken for Mexicans. Let's leave that to La Migra."

Marty started rolling his eyes.

Sam noticed the look. OK, no speeches. But remember the Schwarzenegger thing? A weight lifter was elected governor. The country's been ripe for changes in politics. Thousands of occupy DC people are in the streets all over the country. And it's goddamned time that it got over being afraid of gays and lesbians. This bullshit of investigating consensual sex …

Okay, okay, Marty interrupted. I know the drill. I didn't mean to get you started. What do you want me to do?

Get a room. Watch the press conference. It's live on Channel 64. Come meet Rosie tomorrow. Call me at this number later.

Sam dug a card out of a huge leather purse and penciled in her home phone number.

I could carry my luggage in there, said Marty, pointing at the purse. As an afterthought he grinned and said, This State likes to gamble, doesn't it? I read somewhere that if a New Mexico election results in a tie, they can flip a coin to determine the winner.

After Marty left, Sam remained, sipping a third coffee, conflicting emotions running through her body. She felt excitement over the passage of RAP and the challenge of turning Rosie into a viable politician but lately the loneliness was getting harder and harder to deal with. After Tony had been killed six years ago when his bike was hit, she was totally lost. She couldn't work. She was pretty disgusted with politics anyway and his death sapped the energy she had left for it. She had moped around for months, even thinking about suicide. The insurance settlement had seemed like blood money. Then when she decided to turn that money to good use and promote RAP, it had saved her. She had buried herself in work again, this time on her own with her own ideas about what might make government more like what the founding fathers had in mind. That had kept her going for years but lately, it wasn't enough. She was lonely. She wanted to feel a man's arms around her, to have someone to share nights with, to be loved. God, how she wished she was pretty. Or at least smaller than nine out of ten men. Oh well, she thought. Maybe her latest letter in the women seeking men portion of the personal column would payoff.

You're going to Washington to be a Congresswoman from New Mexico and you don't know shit. Am I right? Rosie just had time to start an answer as Sam continued, waving away whatever it was, at the same time increasing her volume. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. You're bright. You've got a year of college. You read the papers. But you have no idea how little you know about what goes on up there. The other House members aren't going to like the way you got there. The media is going to cut you up for dog food if they can. You're not used to living in a fishbowl. If we agree on some basics, I can really help you out.

I read a lot more than just the papers, Rosie said, a little pissed. Books and magazines too. I watch the news on TV. What basics?

The two women had stopped for coffee at the Highway 66 grill on Central. They were early for a press conference at the Hilton. Sam had suggested meeting first, wanting to nail down her role in Rosie's adventure.

You've got to agree with me that government can be good for the country. That it keeps us out of war if possible. That it can help people live a better life in a clean healthy environment, maybe give people a hand up out of poverty and ignorance if they want it. I need to know you aren't doing this because you want to get rich or dictate the morals of everyone else. I need to know you think there's plenty of room for improvement. Corny, right? Sam said. I can't help it. It's the basics.

Rosie unconsciously reached for a cigarette watching Sam get worked up as she talked. So far, all I've thought about is the 168 thousand bucks and parties with movie stars, she admitted to herself, but said, That's cool.

Sam continued, I've been in the scene since I was an intern, 25 years ago. I got my start writing speeches for Governor Swinson and was an aide for Senator Anaya for ten years. I worked as an assistant press secretary writing answers to questions we knew they would ask. Of course, they never let me in front of the cameras. I even worked for the Justice Department for a while. Lately I've been running RAP. I know my way around.

So how come you want to help me? Rosie asked.

"Because I like the fact that you got here through RAP and I want you to look good. You're gonna be the first member of the House, probably ever, except for some dead guy's wife filling out a term, that got to Washington without going through the system, working their way up in the party, making first one little hedge on what they knew was right because they needed the campaign donation and then another because the party demanded it until they were only working for reelection and big money from some fat cat or another. Because you aren't consumed with making the other party look bad and lose. Because you might

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