I believe I saw Trump today or at least his chariot. I was digging a long row of holes for dahlia tubers down on the farm–beautiful late morning, sun and clouds, wind, trees swaying around the edge of the field. Suddenly an unbelievably loud sound from above, as though the sky were being torn to pieces. And then a southbound 747 overhead, only a few thousand feet up, climbing fast with two fighter jets pinned to each wing. Then gone.

My friend explained that he’s seen it all before. When Trump returns to Washington from his NJ golf club, he is flown out of Teterboro, NJ, not too far to the north of the farm. “Sometimes they are so low I duck,” he said.

For me, a reminder of the sheer scale of American power, awesome and as V.S. Naipaul once said, obscene. Even when, on 9/11, other jets screamed north over Rutgers at minimum altitude and maximum speed toward the City. Or when decades ago, returning from two years with the Peace Corps in Kenya, I came into Piraeus harbor, Greece, at dawn and saw, as the sun burned away the fog, the U.S. Mediterranean Fleet at anchor, ship after ship after ship, an apparently endless unveiling of Empire.