Day 2, Guantánamo
Melania, determined to keep up appearances, got fully groomed and dressed before she wandered downstairs, but she was still the first one up. There were all their portable possession piled up in the foyer. She separated her things into a pile near the pedestal table. She picked out a few outfits to wear in the coming days, hung them on the pegs off to the side of the foyer until she was ready to go upstairs again and made her way to the kitchen. It was looking like the kitchen would be a popular room for gathering, although they were not normally a gathering type of family. They usually operated more like billiard balls on a pool table, bouncing off one another and coming to rest in their separate corners.
Barron was the next person to arrive in the foyer. (“person, man, woman, camera, tv”) He found his stuff and moved it to the blank wall in the foyer. He decided to come back later to see if there was anything he needed. Then Barron continued on to the kitchen.
Melania was trying to find the proper kitchen appliance for making coffee. Were there any of those pod things? Was there any ground coffee? Where were the sugar substitutes? Was she humming, Barron wondered, as he entered the kitchen? Well, that was new. Was his mom a secret housewife? But Melania kept getting distracted by other discoveries as she worked on getting a coffee service together. She was distracted by taking stock of the pantry, by looking out the window over the sink, by a flock of parrots in a stand of palm trees, by the pastries someone had left on the counter in the pantry.
Fortunately, Ivanka wandered in and took charge of the coffee endeavors. Ivanka had more recent experience in kitchen tasks, although not much as the kitchen staff usually took care of such matters. Her children were younger than Barron though, so sometimes Ivanka had done kitchen duty.
Barron placed the pastries on the island, and set about finding coffee mugs, filling a creamer he found, and setting out the sugar cubes and fake sugar packets. He found some paper plates and added them, and he turned some paper towels into napkins. Looking over the pastries he picked a glazed apple fritter and started to devour it. This family, except his father, was not a pastry family. His mother and Ivanka both rarely ate anything worth mentioning. Donald was not supposed to indulge in sugar but to stop him they would have to hide all traces of the pastries before he joined them. Barron could tell that everyone would treat themselves for this one strange morning.
Donald came downstairs bellowing. “Where the fuck are we? Where is everyone? No one came to wake me up. There is no radio, no TV. I’m the United States President. Where’s my body man?”
They could tell when Trump arrived in the foyer because he was quiet for a few seconds. Then came the explosion, “What is all this crap? Someone clean up this mess?”
No one stopped eating and the coffee was now ready so mugs were being filled, although no was willing to be the first one to taste the coffee. Trump found the kitchen by smell and started ranting some more. “Melania, why didn’t you wake me? You need to clean up that mess near the front door.”
“Donald, sit down,” soothed Melania, “you can have a pastry this morning. Here’s your coffee.” The coffee had apparently passed the taste test.
“I don’t want coffee. Are there any Cokes in the refrigerator? Someone prepare one for me”, he looked around at who was present and reluctantly added a “please”. He was handed his Coke in a glass, no ice.
Jared, just entering the kitchen thought, ‘oh, oh, this patient version of Melania will not last. She does not like taking orders and she doesn’t like domestic labor.’ He wasn’t even sure what Melania did all day. He took a seat at the counter by an unclaimed mug and Ivanka filled it with coffee. Jared hid his shock and offered up a thank you instead of a cynical remark. ‘What was happening to this family? Maybe isolation was going to bring them closer together. Of course, it was only day two’, Jared thought as he reached for a pastry.
“What should we do today?” Ivanka asked. “I want to go for a walk, and then maybe a swim. Anybody up for that?” Ivanka had found a note in her pile of possessions that said she would see her children soon. She was happy about not having to keep fighting with their ghost hosts about this.
“I think I might take one of those golf carts and go play a few holes,” Jared said, “Dad, do you want to go?”
“Someone has to help me get dressed,” Trump grumped.
Barron surprised himself and everyone else once again by volunteering to help Trump sort himself out. “Then Dad and I will both go golfing with you, Jared,” Barron added.
Everyone cleaned up the kitchen, except Donald, of course, and retreated to their rooms to dress for their planned activities. Melania had to make another deep dive into her belongings in the foyer to pull out exercise clothes and a swimsuit. She also grabbed the outfits she had hung on the hooks and this time she took the elevator. Barron was already wearing casual clothes and, in fact, had thought to put his bathing suit on as his shorts. He trailed behind Donald into the foyer, helped him pick out appropriate clothing and by then the elevator was back on the first floor waiting for them. Fortunately, Donald did not need help grooming or shaving or even dressing. He simply did not know how to pick out an outfit to wear and he would sit down and never bother to get dressed at all if left alone. So, Barron ended up being sort of a cheerleader handing wardrobe items to his dad one at a time.
Barron and Donald picked up their golf bags from the foyer on their way out. The ladies were just leaving also and Jared was already sitting in a golf cart. Barron and his dad climbed aboard another golf cart and the guys left for the course. Melania and Ivanka set off on a brisk walk but soon slowed down. It was really hot. If they wanted to walk fast they would have to get up earlier. They didn’t stay on the perimeter road. They decided to walk the streets around the barracks and other buildings. The base was deserted except for them, and a bit eerie. It was sort of post-apocalyptic.
In a strange way the privacy was a welcome relief from the usual chaos that surrounded Donald Trump. Eventually they reached the pool by a circuitous route. There it sat with all the pool furniture around it like survivals of a nuclear disaster. They swam and stretched out and then repeated that pattern, hardly in a hurry since they had nothing else to do. Neither of them even had a book or a magazine. They did not intend to do any cleaning, their were no electronics, no movies to watch, no music to listen to. They might have been inclined to decorate the houses they were living in but there were no shops, no online buying, no Home Shopping Network.
“Next time we do this we’ll have to remember to bring water with us, said Melania.
“Let’s look in that pool house on the other side of the pool,” Ivanka said.
Sure enough, there was a mini fridge in the pool house with water and Coke and even some lovely green grapes. They took their loot back to their chaises and enjoyed the cool water in the pool for a while longer.
When Barron, Jared, and Donald arrived at the small golf course and started to play, they had a hard time adjusting their strokes to the new measurements; their balls traveled too far at first. After a while their perceptions obeyed the new dimensions. It was very hot though. They found a little air-conditioned club house at the fourth hole and it had a manly bar with all kinds of liquid refreshments and card tables equipped with cards, poker chips and dice. Trump grew expansive and tried to guess what was happening outside these walls in the Confederated States of America.
“Why did they have to rescue us,” he asked, “What was the danger? Everything seemed fine until they landed at Mar-a-Lago. Sometimes I wish I didn’t shut down Twitter. No one gave me any intelligence reports about unrest or resistance. We had our people everywhere. We would have known immediately if something was going on. This is all very strange,” Trump talked it all through as he paced the small club house.”
Then Trump lapsed from this super lucid state into exhaustion. “We had better head over to the pool and meet the ladies,” said Jared. “The women are probably lobsters by now.” Those two can take care of themselves said Barron. “Com’on Dad, let’s get in those golf carts.” Barron helped him along by putting an arm across his father’s shoulders.
The pool led back to their patio where the unlocked patio doors opened into the cool interior of the house. They left the golf carts parked on the patio.
“We all need showers,” Melania said, “I’ll be in the kitchen after I clean up.” So, they all kept moving past the very beige, beckoning furniture and went to their bedrooms. Barron followed his dad so he could put out some fresh clothing for him. His father was oddly compliant.
When they got to Trump’s bedroom Trump brightened up. “Look,” he said, “there’s a TV in here now. Where did that come from?”
Jared stuck his head in the room to see how his father-in-law was doing. When he saw the TV, he got a few goose bumps and the fine hairs on his arm rose. They were not alone he reasoned. Someone knew exactly what they were doing and the things that appeared in the house would only arrive when no one could see how they got there.
The whole thing felt a lot more like prison than it did like protection. Jared had spent lots of time in Iran which made him very aware of what a surveillance state was like. Hadn’t Trump set up a surveillance state in what used to be America? Of course, Jared, Trump’s right-hand man had helped him do it. Keeping track of how many white children were being born. Making sure that any minority children were spirited away with no records kept and each of the moms were imprisoned or sent into white families to serve as maids or nannies.
Jared did not want to think about some of the policies he had helped Trump implement. If there was a rebellion, and he had heard rumors that there was before they were hustled away from Mar a Lago, it’s possible the family would remain in this expensive ‘prison’ forever. Who knew where they were? Did they still have allies? Hell, he didn’t even know where they were. Would the Saudi king help them now? How about Netanyahu? How about Trump’s shady pals?
Trump had put a comfortable armchair in front the TV and he was happily watching the very sparse offerings, which seemed to be one news channel and one movie channel. Trump said, “tell Melania I’ll eat up here.”
“I’ll tell her,” promised Jared, but he left it for Barron.
When Barron left Trump in front of the TV, arrived in the kitchen and told Melania about Trump’s expectations, he was given his mom’s evil eye.
“I think I’ll go up and have a talk with your father,” Melania said carefully controlling her emotions. Donald did not respond well to anger. You had to use psychology. Melania had tons of practice.
After a while Trump appeared in the kitchen cleaned and casually dressed followed by a grim Melania. It turns out that a TV had been placed in the kitchen also so the promise of both food and news had done the trick. In fact, there were TV’s everywhere now.
Outwardly peace reigned once again in the Trump family, but inwardly several family members had lost their peace of mind.
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