At times I forget how much I love America. Then, the Fourth of July comes around and I says to myself, “You dumb bitch, you were Benjamin Franklin in a former life – how could you forget to love the child you founded?!” Then, I eat four hamburgers, fart, and take a nap.
In case you isn’t familiar, Benjamin Franklin (a.k.a. Ben, Benny, Candle Boy, If-You-Don’t-Know-You-Betta-Ask-An-Indian-Slumdog, and $) was the chubby, balding, New Englandy genius that invented electricity, sight, libraries, and America.
I don’t know everything about Ben because I’ve read a couple of his biographies; I know everything about Ben because I’ve lived a couple of his moments. All of his moments, actually.
I am genuinely convinced that, between January 1706 and April 1790, my soul and Benjamin Franklin were the same dang thang. It’s taken 12 years to confirm, but let me tell you: shit’s been confirmed.
My 4th grade class put on a play about two kids who time traveled to 1776 and homied it up with Benjamin Franklin. Even though I couldn’t pronounce the letter “R,” was still recovering from diphthongs and the letter “S,” and sounded like a mentally challenged British baby, I tried out for the lead role – Benjamin Franklin. I got the part, too (probably because 1) Ryan, my sole competition for the part, was an annoying arseholio; 2) I made a damn fine Mr. Franklin).
Summer of 1999
All the kids in the trailer park at Breakwater Village organized a parade for the Fourth of July, and I offered to reprise my Candle Boy. I killed it.
Mrs. A.C.-Slater-Hair-Doo-Teacher had us make our own hand puppets for a 6th grade puppet show. I asked my dad to help me with a leather Benjamin puppet. He ended up making the whole thing, it was awesome, and it’s still on display in my room.
Summer of 2001
While I sat in a tree, engrossed in a Benjamin Franklin biography, the sound of my sister screaming interrupted us. Without a second’s thought, I threw the book, jumped the five feet from the branch, and ran to her rescue. For the second time, I became an American hero.
For a summer assignment in A.P. U.S. History, we had to write an essay on an influential American. I chose Ben, of course, but totally misunderstood the assignment. Still got a B, doe.
2006 – Present
I stay reading about, quoting, and loving Benjamin/myself.
Franklin’s the only one on our money who’s smiling. Don’t know what it means, but it’s got to mean something… maybe because it’s the hundred? Because he didn’t stress himself out as president, instead went to Paris and ate too much?
If your souls are intertwined, maybe he’s just thinking about monkeys.
I think you’re right — he was definitely a lover of all things monkey.