The first time Donald Trump found himself attracted to a wall, he was 16 and at a military academy. It was a hot afternoon, and Donald had been outside killing ants for hours — just smashing them with his feet over and over to see if it made him feel something — when he looked up and saw an old stone wall. Something about it took him off guard. “Hello,” he said out loud. “Who am I talking to?” He laughed. Maybe he needed to get out of the sun. He started to go back inside, when he turned around to get one last look.
There it was. Impenetrable. Physical. Tall. Powerful. Beautiful. Undressing him with its eyes. What was happening in his body? He walked over to the wall slowly, because his bone spurs were bothering him, and stopped before he got too close. His heart was racing. The more he looked at the wall, the more he could feel himself becoming aroused — something that he would describe as “getting the Cincinnati hot pants.” He knew it was strange, but in that moment, he wanted to do something to the wall with his penis. Not full sex — he just wanted to shake his penis against the wall a little bit. Tap it lightly in a beautiful, respectful way. He wanted to bop the wall with his dick like a fairy godmother. “Ha, ha, ha!” he said in a loud strange voice, like he was in a British play. But the truth was, after he laid eyes on that wall, something had come alive inside him that he didn’t yet understand. A door had opened, and on the other side of that door, there was a long dark hallway. And at the end of that long dark hallway, he honestly couldn’t see what was going on because it was dark, but it looked like he was fucking a wall.
Had anyone ever been attracted to a wall before? Later, back in his room, he couldn’t stop thinking about walls. And he started spending hours in the library looking at pictures in books. The Great Wall of China gave him big-time Cincinnati hot pants. The Berlin Wall was wild, out of control — party on one side, seriously no party on the other side. The librarian eventually asked him to leave because he was just sitting there with a raging boner reading books about walls, but he had her fired immediately.
And every day, after school, Donald came back to the stone wall. He brought her things. Flowers. Extra tater tots from the cafeteria. The wall had been around since the 1800s; she had survived plenty of storms, plenty of winters. She’d been sat on by pretty much anybody who walked by. And the squirrels had done whatever they wanted with her. Those arrogant bastards. Squirrels took what they wanted and didn’t care who they hurt in the end. They treated her like she was nothing, and after a while, that can chip away at a wall — literally and figuratively, but more literally.
Donald wanted her to know that he found her beautiful. “You’re tremendous,” he said. “You’re impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful …” The wall didn’t seem to care what he said. The world had made her cruel. But Donald didn’t want to play games. “What do you want from me? You want me to pretend I can’t see how beautiful you are? You want me to tell you that there’s some other wall in my life? Because there ain’t!” he said. He didn’t know why he was talking like a poor person. This was the kind of shit that she did to him.
Donald had a roommate, Skip, who could see all this happening from his window. Skip wasn’t a great guy. One afternoon, Skip walked by and saw Donald crying and singing a Peter, Paul, and Mary song to the wall with no pants on. “100 miles, 100 miles,” Donald sang in a voice that sounded like a dairy cow crying out to be milked. Skip laughed and hid in the bushes as Donald ran his fingers along the crumbling bricks, then turned around and pressed his naked butt into the stones of the wall, softly, respectfully. Skip couldn’t believe what was happening. This was getting so weird. He watched as Donald leaned in, put his whole face up against the wall and said something he’d never said to anything or anyone before: “I love you.” Skip started laughing. He couldn’t help himself. Skip was a real asshole. Donald looked up and immediately saw where he was hiding, pulled him from behind the bushes, and beat him without mercy. Later in his life, when Skip became a banker, Skip would remember the pain he felt that day, and it would push him to make more money than he ever thought he could make. Skip really sucked.
Skip ended up in the hospital for weeks, and the discipline for Donald was swift and severe. Fred Trump paid the administrators to say that Donald was fighting with the other boys, but everyone knew that it was because he’d fallen in love with a wall. Fred pulled Donald out of the school, and he never got a chance to say good-bye to her. Donald thought he was having a heart attack. His chest hurt. His heart was breaking. Fred shouted at him to grow up. “A wall? What happens to a man who falls in love with a wall? There’s no future in that!” Fred was furious. Donald wiped his tears away. He wanted to be strong like his dad. It wasn’t love. It was just a wall. Who cares?
His 20s got dark. So did his 30s. And his 40s, 50s, and 60s, to be honest. He was partying a lot, and when he got drunk enough, he found himself back on the street, roaming around in the dark looking for walls. He didn’t care what he found. Stone walls. Brick walls. Even concrete. He even tried fences a couple times. His low point involved a chicken coop. Don’t think about it. He got married, but his wives were just women. They were always moving around and talking and eating and using their hands, and he just wasn’t interested.
Once on a business trip, he took a little detour back to his old school. He avoided seeing anyone and walked around the grounds to where the wall used to be, but he couldn’t find it. Instead, there was some shiny new theater, and they were doing a production of Into the Woods. Wasn’t this a military academy? America was falling apart. Young people were all pussies. Some kid wearing clear glasses and holding a succulent came out and asked if he wanted a free ticket to the show. Donald kicked the kid in the shins. “Life’s going to break your heart,” he said and kept walking. Then, behind the theater, he saw something out of the corner of his eye that looked familiar. He walked over slowly — his bone spurs still hurt him from time to time. Yes. There it was. The pile of bricks. It was her. He was shaking now, as he knelt down. “Hello,” he said. She was still tremendous, physical, powerful. He cleared away some garbage. “No one’s taking care of you?” he asked. “I’m here. I’ll never leave you again.” He lay down next to her. “You destroy my walls,” he said, putting emphasis on different words.
They stayed like that for a while. The sun had set, and he could hear the faint sounds of some dumb song coming out of the theater. What a bunch of vaginas, he thought. He didn’t want to leave, but he couldn’t feel his legs anymore. He was not healthy. Mentally or physically. He’d paid a man he met on the subway to pretend to be a doctor for years and tell everyone he was fine. But he was not fine, and he knew it. He was about to say good-bye, when he heard the voice. It was faint. Almost not there. “Build it …” the voice said. Donald was crying now. It was her. “Build what? What should I build?” he asked. The voice was fading — disappearing back into the earth. “Don’t leave me, no. Please. What should I build?” he said. And then the voice came again, impossibly slow and soft, “Build … the … wall …” It was gone. He sat for a long time holding the pieces of her in his hands. And sitting there, he promised himself that no matter what happened, no matter what it would cost or who would pay for it or how useless it would end up being for the country or the world, he was going to build a wall. Even if it destroyed him. Even if it caused a war with Mexico, and we ended up having to give back Texas. He was going to build it for her. And it would be beautiful.