“I graduated top of my class at the University of Pennsylvania. Tippy-top. Just the best. They begged me to stay. Begged me. Said they wanted to give me all these degrees. Harvard begged me to attend. They said to me, ‘The Don..’ They call me The Don, there. At Harvard. The Don. So they said to me, ‘The Don, we need you. Our school is failing and we can’t get the top talent like you. We need your ideas.’ I told them I wasn’t buying that liberal garbage they were selling. It stank then and it stinks now. Just a garbage factory turning out big nothings. Zeros, you know? Total zeros…”
Just smile and nod. Smile and nod. You need this job. It pays well, and everyone needs to eat…
Oh God, did he just say the Pope was a child molester? What does that have to do with college? Oh no, he stopped talking and he’s looking at me. Did he ask a question?
“Well that’s… that’s just phenomenal.”
Is he wiping his mouth with classified documents? Why does that napkin say “Top Secret”?
Trump narrowed his eyes suspiciously for a moment before continuing.
“Like I was saying, you can’t trust em’. Just can’t trust em’. Those socialists at these colleges, brainwashing kids with their nonsense. I bet they even faked my records. Got mad when I turned them down and decided ‘Trump thinks he’s too good for us? We’ll show him. Not like he’d ever be President. Win with the greatest landslide in the history of elections. We’ll show him.' But I did. I showed them. Three. Zero. Six. Did you know that? 306. You only needed 270, but I got 306. Greatest victory in history. They just about carried me on their shoulders. Carried me right up to the White House, screaming, ‘Get out Barack! We have our man! Our man Trump…'”
If I push hard enough, will this pen go into my brain? Will the Secret Service stop me? They’re supposed to protect him, right?
A quick glance at the door put lie to that statement. The only agent was clearly sleeping in a standing position and wearing prominent fluorescent orange ear plugs.
Glancing slowly to the right I could see The Scarecrow. Just sitting. Staring. Not blinking.
I haven’t seen her blink in over an hour. Is she ok? Is this normal? Is there a normal anymore?
“… That’s why you can’t trust the Democrats. Or the media. Fake news all the way. Did you know I can hold my breath longer than anyone else? The greatest. Just the best.”
Trump abruptly drew in an enormous breath, puffing out his cheeks, his orange complexion closer to purple, like he was playing an invisible trumpet. Moments later the air exploded out of him followed by a fit of coughing.
“Did you see that? Were you timing? Ten minutes, like I was saying, the best.”
He stared at me, clearly expecting some kind of response to his impressive talent.
“Amazing, Mr. President. I was terrified for a moment it lasted so long.”
Maybe if I drink some of his coffee? Melania must put enough poison in it to down a horse.
“I like you. You’re a good man. Trustworthy. Not like that crooked Hillary. You’re like Putin. A real stand-up guy. A good judge of character. That’s why I picked you to write my book. You’re a good writer. Not as good as me, but up there, you know? I bet you’re a good reader too. We need more of those. How’d you like to be my National Security Advisor? Lot of reading there. Good place for a reader like you.”
I think he’s serious. Change the subject. There’s no way you won’t be confirmed and you have no idea how to do that job. Is he wiping his mouth with classified documents? Why does that napkin say “Top Secret”?
“Thank you, sir. But I’m here to tell your story. The people need to hear it. They demand to hear it.”
The Scarecrow slowly turned its head, stared unblinkingly at a point several inches to the left of me and said, “They demand it. They love Donald.” The head slowly turned back to regarding the empty air across from the couch.
I’m going to die here. There’s no way they can let me leave here alive. I’ve seen too much.
“That’s too bad, but you’re right. My story needs to be told. I’m like Jesus. Persecuted for my beliefs. I bet Jesus would love me. He’s about the people, and so am I. That’s why they love me so much. The people. They love me. Can’t get enough of me. It’s in all the news. Greatest president ever. Never a bad word said.”
I glanced at the television tuned to Fox News. “Never a bad word said, no sir.”
“Unless you count fake news. Like that CNN or Washington Post. All fake news.”
“FAKE NEWS!” The Scarecrow screeched, like a terrifying trained parrot, before lapsing back into silence.
I looked sadly down at my notepad, blank other than a sketch of a stick-man with a noose around his neck.
I saw an ornately ornamented sheet of paper sitting on the nearby table. Covered in gold leaf, with his name in 72-point type across the top in some of the most beautiful calligraphy I had ever seen. Covered in photos of the president and containing six short bullet points directly in the center.
“That’s beautiful. What is it?”
“My morning briefing. Really dense stuff. Really boring. Presidential stuff. You wouldn’t understand. But maybe you would, I forgot how good a reader you said you were. Not as good as me, of course, but not bad, not bad.”
Maybe if I drink some of his coffee? Melania must put enough poison in it to down a horse.
“Thank you, Mr. President, but I think I have what I need for today. If I take in too much at once I couldn’t possibly do it all justice.” I looked sadly down at my notepad, blank other than a sketch of a stick-man with a noose around his neck.
“Of course, of course. That’s what it deserves. Justice. Like what that crooked Hillary deserved. Justice. You know, you’d be a good fit there. The Department of Justice. I’m looking for a new Attorney General. He’s been a real disappointment for me. I had high hopes for him. No loyalty in that one. No spine. A secret Democrat is what he is. In on the whole thing. Probably planned it along with Hillary. A man on the inside. But they couldn’t stop me. The people love me too much. That’s why I had the greatest election landslide in history. 306. You only need 270 but I had 306. Amazing. I would have had more if those illegal aliens hadn’t committed fraud for Hillary. I would have had all 50 states. Trump. Trump. Trump. They were yelling in the streets. Wanted me president for life. Like Putin. Great leader. People won’t even let him quit. Been president forever, but they won’t let him retire…”
I’m almost to the door. He hasn’t noticed.
He was interrupted by the door behind me opening, knocking the Secret Service agent to the ground where he continued to sleep peacefully. A shifty-looking man in a jumpsuit entered, scanning the room quickly, eyes lingering on any papers.
“Oh good, you get to meet Sergei. He’s the classified janitor. He cleans up classified documents when you’re done with them. Good man. Very reliable. Never misses a single document. Men like him are why we need to be friends with Russia. So devoted to his job he never takes a day off. Seven days a week, he’s here. Cleaned out the safe for me once too. Full of old documents I didn’t need. Three in the morning, there he is, cleaning like his little life depended on it.”
“Da. Is good job. Much cleaning to be done,” he said, as he began grabbing papers and cramming them into his rapidly expanding jumpsuit, crinkling sounds accompanying his movement about the room.
This can’t be real. I fell and hit my head and I’m in a coma. Why aren’t they pulling the plug?
The janitor elbowed the untouched coffee to the floor and a loud string of what sounded like Ukrainian curses in a decidedly feminine voice came through the wall.
“Nice to meet you, Sergei… I… I should go.”
I fairly leapt through the door, slamming it behind me, hyperventilating. Trying to regain composure, I walked through the office area toward the exit, seeing looks of envy on the staffers as I passed. One mouthed “help me,” but quickly returned to work like nothing had just happened. Should I tell someone? Would anyone believe me? Would it matter?
I pulled the door open and heard a scream of “FREEDOM!” as a staffer made a break for the open door and was quickly tackled to the ground by John Kelly before she reached the threshold. Crying, she was dragged back to her desk.
The click of the door closing behind me was the greatest sound I’ve ever heard.
“Did he drink the coffee?” I was startled by the agent addressing me.
“The coffee. Did he drink it?”
“No, it was knocked over.”
He shook his head sadly. “Poor girl tries so hard. She almost had him once with a chandelier, but it just missed him. Hit Kellyanne, but no one has noticed any difference.”
I nodded, my mouth hanging open. I backed away slowly, eventually speeding up to a walk, then a jog, and finally a full-on sprint by the time I reached the end of the drive.
A man in a suit with twigs in his hair and camouflage paint on his face emerged from the bushes.
“Did you see Sergei?”
I nodded yes, feeling more and more confused.
Is that Robert Mueller?
He seemed satisfied with my answer and melted back into the bushes from whence he came.
I don’t know what’s happening here, and I don’t want to know.
“Same time tomorrow?” the guard asked, as the gate slammed closed and I burst into tears.