Levi, I love you- I love you not

“Aren’t you supposed to be sheep hunting?” and he said, “Yeah, I was, till the Secret Service came and took my sheep-hunting partner!” and they laughed.


Levi was in the plane. It flew him all the way to a city in another world, in what he would describe as flying south, in Minnesota, and dropped him into a sort of conference room, full of talkative people — some of whose faces he knew without knowing how — and a guy was touching him, and before the smell of the open country had left his nostrils completely he was leaning back in a chair, having makeup applied to his face, to his eyes and neck, and gel worked into his hair. They had cut his hair. Indeed they had given him a superb haircut, probably the best he would ever have, a haircut designed to shape away the last traces of baby fat from his cheeks and define his jawline, and they stood him in the corner and dressed him from head to toe in new preppy clothes and looked him in the face and said, “You do not say a word.”

“Those words exactly?” he was asked.

“Pretty much,” he answered.

If facts were unstable — it may not have been the Secret Service, it may have been campaign operatives; they got him not from the field but from a campsite, or picked him up at home on the day after the hunt — that paled in interest next to the sense, as you spoke to people here, that you were hearing a scrap of western folklore being born. The boy who went to hunt sheep, and got spirited off by the Secret Service, and then came home.

Just One Momentito
It takes some mental effort to recover the feeling of how much he seemed to mean at one time, and practically yesterday. We are post-Levi. It’s decadent to think of him now. But the chemical traces remain of a plausibility structure inside which his very face seemed full of information and even warning to the nation. Something was happening to the country, people will have to take sides, it was splitting in two. Levi looked like a place where the ripping might start. We were laughing at him then, of course — that was largely it. If McCain’s choosing Palin had been cynical (as borne out by their recoiling from each other, when they were said to have been 'soul mates'), not until his embrace of Levi did things become farcical. Conservative Republican under investagation for 'abuse of power' conspiracay after conspiracy and her teenage daughter is pregnant. No vetting going on here! So, September 3, on the tarmac, that was when you knew we had reached some point, some level. The McCains came out to welcome the Palins onto the ticket. It was an introduction and some kind of cryptic archconservative coronation. Wind blowing, Bristol dressed in a crisp khaki dress coat. Suddenly into the group shot hove this Levi, chaw-chomping Levi, young, dumb, and full of comeliness, a self-proclaimed redneck hockey enthusiast, no-kids-wanting-but-no-protection-using Levi Johnston, tricked out like a duck hunter now, granted, not like a serious hunter, but no less ready to kick your ass if you messed with him. He's a bargain with American masculinity, and at the same time a captivating time bomb of white Alaskan authenticity, with a tattoo on his ring finger. We knew he was there only because it had been deemed worse for him not to be there. That gave him a curious magnetism, don't you think? And John McCain, fine, he was trying to win a campaign, he’s an opportunist. He’s also a United States senator and a war hero, and there was something in how he greeted Levi — how for a second it mattered whether he greeted this boy, and in what manner — like an acknowledgment. Not of one man to another, exactly, but of one force to another. It was either the beginning or the end of something. Briefly recall when you didn’t know which.

It is  surrounded by water and wilderness. Stand there and blink back and forth, shutting your left eye, then your right. Left eye: spit of highway, aggressive proliferation of half-abandoned strip malls, a few roads dwindling off to little houses. Right eye: the mountains, the expanding sky, the shadowy crevasses, a bald eagle. Highway, strip malls, little houses; mountains, sky, crevasses, eagle.

For most of its history, the Iditarod dogsled race began here, in the heart of the Mat-Su Valley, but the snow is not coming heavy enough anymore. They have moved the starting line. Wasilla has changed for the worst concerning Sarah Palin.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. JBodine
    May 29, 2009 @ 20:08:00


  2. JBodine
    Jun 04, 2009 @ 16:18:00

    Have searched for another response to this post and found this video: Role Model


  3. Syrin from Wasilla
    Jun 05, 2009 @ 09:37:00

    Role Model Todd & Sarah? You have got to be kidding? This couple is laughed at because of their actions and behavior and also the lack of control of the children. What you come up with to perpetuate this lie is astonding to me. I know better, you haven't quite gotten that yet, have you?
    Palin's disfunctional marriage is not something to strive for, but you could get lucky. What do you have to offer Sarah? Could you help her in her quest for fame and fortune? Sarah might have an affair with you


  4. JBodine
    Jun 05, 2009 @ 09:58:00

    Well now that sheds a light into your mind. Sorry to burst your bubble, the national enquirer is a, shall we be charitable, a gosip rag to satify the perverted minds whims of fantasy.
    I hope I didn't use to many big words for you.


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