After a day when the Democrats sweep elections in Virginia and New Jersey, Sam says thoughtfully: “Trump is like an apple. Think of a RIPE apple.”
Not sure where this is going, I wait.
“Like the ripest apple that’s ready for picking.”
His mop of straggly hair has its own zip code, it’s so unruly. I am distracted for a moment and reach over in the car to comb it with my fingers. He leans away, as he does these days — 13 and growing ever more apart from Mom and ever more into Sam.
“Okay. Trump is an apple, a RIPE apple.” Glancing at the clock, I tell him his bus is about to pull up.
“America was waiting for a long time for this apple to ripen — it promised to be sweet, juicy, good for you. And when the apple was at its most ripe, America picked it, picked Trump.”
“Indeed,” I sigh. “They did.”
“But after they picked it, because it was so ripe, the Trump apple started to rot from the inside out. And now Trump is a rotten apple.”
Huh. For a boy who had to learn every metaphor was not literal, to understand that “raining cats and dogs” does not mean they are falling paws-first from the sky, he has come a long, long way.
“What happens next?” I ask.
(Because now I really want to know.)
“A bird comes along,” he says, “and takes it away.”
The Mueller Bird? The Bird of Freedom? Big Bird?
But his bus has pulled up and he’s out the door, backpack askew, headphones in place.