It was time to walk Bo. She had been inside all day on account of all the meetings I’d had. Michelle had taken the children for a short break to Martha’s Vineyard. Only I couldn’t find Bo’s lead. Yesterday we had walked across the White House lawn and Bo had run after a squirrel and I’d lost her. I had security go find her, but whilst they were searching, a drone was flown overhead with a mounted camera and pictures of security searching for Bo had since gone viral.
The red phone rang. It was Michelle asking if I’d remembered to help Sasha with her school project and it was only then that I remembered that she’d only taken Malia for a “girls weekend”. I couldn’t remember seeing Sasha all day, but I assured Michelle that the school project about the Liberty Bell was in hand. Michelle shouted down the line; “bell hooks” is the project; “Bell Blair Hooks!”. She ended the call and I walked towards the library to locate my copy of Outlaw Culture, then I needed to find Sasha.
In the hall, the black phone rang. I answered it. “Sir, I have Xi Jinping for the scheduled call from Beijing.”
I talked about trade and currency and his forthcoming visit which he reminded me about.
“Daddy, you said we would read bell hooks together”, Sasha appeared from nowhere.
“I did” I agreed. “But that was a very important call from China’s President.
“Did you ask him about human-rights abuses”
“I did”, I lied. The whole point of the call had been cleverly avoided.
“Sir” came an urgent call, “we are due to test emergency procedure on the nuclear button, do you have the briefcase?
I looked at him in askance. “I know I put it here somewhere”.
© Steve Goodlad