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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Robe

It was after 6:30 in the evening, and no one was fast asleep.

Trump stood at a window, watching a fountain spurt again and again, reminding him of his youth. Behind him, on a makeshift TV stand constructed from the remains of the Resolute Desk, a television blared the evening's news.

Donald J. Trump, alone in one of the most crowded houses in the United States, sipped from his tumbler of water, scratched himself through his terrycloth robe the color of freshly-crushed red grapes, and stared at the fountain. The spout pushed higher, then lower, then higher, and each spurt shattered into a white foam like melted snow.

Beyond the fountain was the fence. Trump admired the fence. Sharp, rigid. Upright. It reminded him of a Sunday morning at military school, where all students were upright, rigid, and sharp before reveille.

Trump imagined snow falling, and falling faintly, upon that fence. Then he imagined the blood. And the fountain began shooting out blood, and the lawn outside his new residence was bathed in a bright red light. The light was from an ambulance passing the residence, silent like his mother's hugs, erratic like his father's support. The fence and the fountain vibrated red lights, and Trump tightened the belt of his robe. Turned away from the window. Turned toward the flickering blue light of his television.

There was a knock at his door. His eyes were settling, finally, on the television, but now his ears were pushed into service, followed by his voice, which barked out an exasperated "What!"

His eyes dimmed a bit. Whatever was on the television slipped away as he slammed his glass onto what happened to be his bed. The glass hit the softness of the mattress, overturned, and leaked itself onto the cotton duvet.

"Mr. President." The voice, muffled by the Grant Door, donated by the Daughters of the Something. Every piece of this residence, in this house, was donated--there was not one corner owned by the Trump family, and it annoyed him. Fumbling with the overturned glass on the Roosevelt duvet, Trump yelled, "I'm standing on the goddamn carpet Betsy Rossini carved out of her own pubic hair! What?!"

Silence.

Trump loosened his belt. Exhaled. Flipped the robe like a drowning penguin, brought it closer to his body. Secured the belt again.

"...Bannon has gone silent..." the television said.

Trump glanced at the bed, wet but unstained. And un-wived. The bed was empty, and would remain empty until he crawled into it, which he did not want to do. He missed his normal bed. "I make hotels," he muttered to himself. "Now I'm staying in one."

Trump realized the next two spots he could live were Club 33, and then the apartment at the top of the Eiffel Tower.

A tentative knock at the Grant Door. A careful voice. "Mr. President."

"Yes. I am Mr. President. The President." Trump worked his toes into the Betsy Rossini carpet--unaware with each toe-flex that it was a rug Mamie Truman had selected--and scraped his fingers into the terrycloth of his own robe.

"Mr. President, it's your nightly snowcone. Made fresh, sir."

Trump moved toward the door, almost knocking down the makeshift Resolute Desk television stand.

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