Who Can Ya’ Trust?

On August 8th, 1974, Richard Nixon resigned from his presidency in anticipation of impeachment hearings after the Watergate scandal. I did not grow up in the sixties, or the seventies, or most of the eighties, so to me, Richard Nixon has never been “hip” or “a nice guy.” When I look at this picture, which is usually the image I get when I think of Richard Nixon, I think “shady” or “a bad guy.”

I’m not going to get political here, but I immediately thought of Bill Clinton as I was reading up on Watergate. That was during my time, and even if I didn’t totally understand what was going on, I knew it was important because we all had to to sit around the TV and watch the “I did not have sexual relations…” clip replay. Does anyone even remember that anymore? The ultimate question I’m left asking myself is, if the president is capable of lying without consequence, then who can you trust?

I’ve been playing with this idea in a few different ways, but I mostly draw from the theme that the illusion of safety, security and trust is almost more believable than the real thing. When I think of the place where I feel most safe, its in my home. In reality, I rent, I live upstairs and I don’t have a basement (in Wisconsin, basement = tornado safety). I feel my home belongs to me, because I ignore the ten people who felt the same way about it before I did, unlocking the door everyday, taking a deep breath and plopping on the couch or bean bag or La-Z-Boy. And yet, I somehow feel untouchable at home. Nothing will ever happen. I trust it.

I don’t know where this idea will lead, but for the time being there is a husband and wife, Terry and Lisa. They live in the Midwest in the 90’s, newlyweds, and she is pregnant. She trusts everyone and everything, and he is extremely defensive. I wrote a scene that begins with Terry and Lisa going to a neighbor’s house for a dinner with two other couples, and ending with Terry and Lisa going to bed that night. I like the idea of challenging whatever the illusion of trust is, and how it can make a person go crazy thinking about what they “know” or even feel comfortable with. I’ll clean up the scene and post it in the next week or so.

It won’t, but if it turns into a novel I will dedicate it “To Hip Richard Nixon, I trust you.”

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