Saturday, June 19, 2004

Clinton's Couch

"...happy Book Day, Mister President, happy Book Day, to yoooo..."
President Clinton, in his new book, reports that he spent two months "on the couch" after confessing his Monica Lewinski liaisons to his wife and daughter.
Two months.
On the couch.
It strains credulity.
A man, especially the most powerful man in the world, who was living in the freaking White House, had to sleep on the couch?
Was there not a spare bedroom available? The Lincoln bedroom? Come on.

But I take the nation's 42nd president at his word. It makes sense. Consignment to the couch is fraught with symbolism. The couch was President Clinton's hairshirt. His penance.

Schlumping down the hall to the Lincoln bedroom every night for 60 days, pulling his blanky behind him on the floor with a pillow tucked under his arm, is not doing penance. Besides, the Lincoln quarters were probably rented.

The couch? Much more penitential.

Behold, the leader the of Free World, doing his couch time. Waking up every morning with rack head. Waking up in the middle of the night, disoriented momentarily, before realizing, `Oh, yeah, the couch. Shit." Every morning, the back aching, thanks to the couch. Then, a full day of running the world, following by another night, on the couch.

President Clinton needed a doghouse. The nation needed him to have one, for its own well-being. Every man, every couple, needs a doghouse. Architects should be incorporating them in the new homes they design. And labeling them as such. The doghouse. Where the man retreats, in silence, to do his time.

Show me a long-married couple that says they never went to bed mad, and I'll show you a ... well, I just don't buy it. They've got a doghouse somewhere in their dwelling.

Given President and Mrs. Clinton's tumultuous marital history, that should have been one executive decision already made before the first Inauguration Day.

The presidential doghouse needn't have been plush. In fact, it shouldn't have been. Maybe a simple metal bed frame holding an overly firm mattress, a cheap, wood veneer fold-out TV table at bedside for the Red Hotline Phone and a cheap, imported radio-alarm clock, and a small TV (black &white, no cable) over in the corner set on another TV table. A floor lamp, with a water-stained lampshade. Nothing on the walls, except, perhaps, a Crucifix and a simple wall calendar. And maybe a mirror.

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