Front Porch

In Front Porch McKinley, late 50s, and Nieman, late 20s, sit on a porch in Canton, Ohio, on a warm day in the late summer of 1901.  McKinley says that all is right with the world and all of America will pass by to say hello.  He tells Nieman that America is sharing “our system” by spreading it all over the world.  He says God told him that it was his duty to bring enlightenment to the poor and wretched of the world.  Business was his business and America’s business.  Nieman tells McKinley his name and McKinley ways that the word means nobody in German.  McKinley thinks he has seen him before and asks if he ever shook his hand.  We hear a rumble and see a flash and Nieman says a storm is coming.  They speak of Edison and electricity and Nieman says that Edison invented the electric chair.  McKinley thinks he remembers Nieman from the Exhibition Hall in Buffalo as the man with a bandage on his hand.  Nieman says his real name is Czolgosz and he is as American as McKinley whose Republican friends raped the treasury and got fat while working people starved to death.  He says everyone now knows how to spell his name because he shot McKinley in the stomach.  The bullet, he says, is still inside McKinley’s stomach, festering.  McKinley puts his hand inside his coat and pulls it out smeared with red.  He thinks it must be ketchup and that he is having a bad dream.  He calls for his wife, Ida, but Nieman says she is at his funeral  McKinley asks if the dream is his or Nieman’s.  We hear thunder and both men look up at the lightning.  We hear the srorm coming as the lights dim and go out.

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