Where Are We?
When the army helicopter landed in the officer’s compound at Guantánamo, the Trump family seemed dazed. They relieved Donald of the strait jacket, which the 10 th Army Division told him was needed to protect him from Antifa. He wandered around the landing area like the bewildered old man that he was. The meds they gave him to keep him calm when they removed the strait jacket had kicked in and contributed to his disorientation. But, thankfully, he was docile.
Melania moved off in the opposite direction from Donald, turning in a slow circle to take in their surroundings. The helicopter had already lifted off. Ivanka’s movements inscribed that same slow circle as Melania’s. Jared was trailing after Donald and Barron was trying to get his phone to work but could not find even one bar. These were the only family members at the Southern White House when the “rescue” took place. The question “where are we” was written on every face? The flight had not been long.
Clearly, they were in a walled compound, and that made it hard to tell where they had been set down. There were few geographical clues. After wandering a bit, the family could see that there were buildings if you wandered away from the wall. The buildings were obviously the sorts of buildings the US military builds on bases around the world. The buildings nearest the landing platform looked utilitarian with some personnel barracks off to one side. There were golf carts nearby. There were palm trees and the air was moist and tropical. Perhaps they were simply in another part of Florida.
Someone dressed as secret service appeared on his own golf cart. He told the family to ‘follow me’ and he would give them a tour of the compound. They set out in their separate golf carts in parade formation down the main road that divided the buildings. It was hot and humid. The roads were made of concrete so that melting tar would not be a problem.
Their guide drove around the perimeter, which was a lengthy drive, and stopped to indicate the recreational facilities where there was a swimming pool visible in the distance. He drove around an abbreviated 9-hole golf course. After checking out the amenities they traveled back towards the landing pad. The guide turned down the tree-lined main road, traveling straight ahead rather than turning left to trace the perimeter. Soon, he pulled up in front of a pair of buildings obviously built to house officers. He dropped Ivanka and Jared off at the smaller house and then left the Trump family at the door of the larger building.
The family had tried to pepper their guide with questions, but his answers were surprisingly slippery. He never did tell them where this compound was located or why it had been built. He didn’t have any idea where their belongings were, if or when they might arrive. He never would discuss why they seemed to be the only people here. Donald repeated often that he was the President of United States and people did not keep secrets from him. He demanded that the uniformed man answer his questions, but all his allies were gone. He was only one old man with his useless son-in-law, both unarmed; his only tool the imperious voice Trump had learned to wield when his power was absolute.
“Donald”, said Melania petulantly. “Let’s just go in that building for now. I am hot, I am thirsty, I am hungry, and I am tired. There must be a staff in there to take care of us.”
Donald did not answer but he began to move in the direction of the front door to which a White House style portico had been added. They kept expecting a butler to appear to welcome them. When that did not happen Barron finally opened the door. The cool air that escaped lifted their spirits. Barron led his befuddled parents into a foyer centered by a round pedestal table topped with an enormous fake floral arrangement and resting on a Turkish-style carpet. Off to one side was a line of hooks for outdoor accessories and a thick absorbent mat for wet footwear.
They wandered further into the dwelling and came across the living room, large and very beige. The couches were comfortable and expensive looking. There were three couches and four matching chairs. Various tables were arrayed around the walls of this spacious room and held lamps and a few unartistic items of décor. The sofas faced a line of patio doors that could be left open at rare cool moments. The pool was on the far side of the patio. Trump sat on a sofa and waited to see if any staff would appear. Melania continued to explore, wandering towards an enormous chef’s kitchen. Barron trailed along behind Melania. He opened the refrigerator and found bottles of water.
“Mom, do you want a water?” Barron asked.
“Oh sure, honey.” Melania answered, although she was distracted by the absence of any kitchen staff.
When they returned to the living room Trump was beginning to come out of his docile state.
“Did you find anyone to make a meal or bring us some food?” Donald asked. “Why isn’t there any TV? Why doesn’t my phone work?
Donald was getting agitated and cranky. Melania told him she would bring him some water and quickly exited the living room. It began to dawn on her that she might be expected to cook. She knew how to cook but she did not want to take on that role without putting up a fight. She was, after all, the First Lady.
Fortunately, Barron had already investigated what the freezer had to offer, and he had microwaved some pizza snacks which he was happily eating. Melania stole one from the stash and gave him a little grin. She ate half and set it down on the table. She apparently wasn’t quite hungry enough for pizza snacks yet. So, she grabbed another water bottle for Trump and returned to the living room where she sank into a chair as far from Donald as possible.
“Something’s not right,” Donald stated. Well, that was obvious even to Melania who said nothing. “What happened that we needed to be protected from? Where are all our Secret Service people? Why isn’t this place staffed?” Donald rose from his seat on the sofa and started to pace the room, his mood escalating towards anger. He would begin venting at any moment and then move on to a massive temper tantrum which might cause a mini stroke. Melania was getting worried. There were no doctors here. Where were Donald’s meds?
Melania said, “Donald, I think we need to go find the bedrooms and unpack those overnight bags that they had the staff pack for us. Then we should go to the kitchen and maybe make a sandwich or something and just go to bed until morning. By then the rest of our belongings and our staff may have caught up with us.”
Presenting Donald with a plan seemed to short circuit his impending rant, for now. The bedrooms were on the second level and each bedroom had its own bathroom. Donald took the one that seemed most palatial, perhaps intended for the base commander. Melania took one closest to the stairs and the elevator. The rooms were also beige with army green blankets on the beds, but they were nicely furnished, had good-sized closets, and the bathrooms, while not designer spas, had everything necessary for comfort. Donald and Melania had not shared a bedroom in quite some time so this arrangement would not seem odd to Barron who must, at this moment, still be in the kitchen.
Melania appeared in her husband’s bedroom and unpacked his overnight bag. Just as she thought. There were his meds. There was also a mini fridge filled with water bottles. She collected his pills in the palm of her hand, grabbed a water bottle, and he absent-mindedly swallowed the pills. The army personnel on the helicopter had given her a small number of tranquillizers in case they were needed. Melania had added one of these pills to the others. After distributing the contents of the overnight bag around Trump’s room she took his hand and led him off towards the kitchen.
When they got to the kitchen Barron was already there. Ivanka and Jared were also there. Everyone was sitting around the large granite island in the center of the kitchen, but nothing had been done about dinner.
“You know these doors don’t lock,” said Jared. “I guess with the 20-foot walls around this place locks are unnecessary.”
“Is it possible that we’re prisoners?” asked Ivanka.
Melania looked at Ivanka and lifted her carefully penciled eyebrows, tilting her head slightly towards Donald. But the tranquillizer had kicked in and Ivanka’s father was tuned out.
“Let’s talk about that later,” said Melania as she opened the big double doored stainless-steel refrigerator. “I think we should just have sandwiches tonight and then get some sleep.”
The refrigerator was not full, but it held a few staples. There was some cola for starters, so Melania poured Donald some in a glass she found in a cupboard. Someone had left them a fresh-baked loaf of bread in the pantry, a small room next to the stove. There was deli meat-both turkey and beef, along with lettuce and tomatoes and mayonnaise. Melania placed all these things on the counter. Everyone else was just sitting there waiting to be served.
“Ivanka, get some plates and silverware please. Jared, find a board to cut things on and a sharp knife, not too big. Barron, you just ate. Do you want a sandwich also?” Melania said all this with a bit of a scowl. When she married Trump, she had thought she was done with kitchens. But everyone jumped up in satisfying fashion and hustled to do the chores they were given.
Soon they were cutting bread and tomatoes, slathering mayo on bread and building their sandwiches. Donald seemed to be somewhere else.
“What’s wrong with Dad,” asked Ivanka.
“The man who brought us here gave me some extra pills for your father. He was upset so I gave him one. He can’t have a stroke right now, there is no doctor here, our phones don’t work, we don’t even know where we are.” Melania was usually pretty silent. This was a long speech for her.
Barron made his father a sandwich and Donald did focus enough to eat it. “I’ll clean up,” Barron said and got a grateful smile from his mom. Barron, at 22, should not even be here, but he had been home on a visit from graduate school and got scooped up with the rest of the family. He seemed pretty calm considering.
“We can’t stay here without the children,” Ivanka complained. Why are we all here in this godforsaken place anyway? What will happen to us?”
“Maybe we’ll get some answers tomorrow when they bring our belongings. Let’s go try to get some sleep,” said Jared.
Subscribe for free for now and get this newsletter in you email.