When you wake up
You will find
That you’re not where you left yourself
—Justin Hayward and John Charles Lodge, “When You Wake Up”
I suppose I could have been dreaming it, but my conversation with Donald Trump was as real as anything. He walked into my bedroom like he owned the place, and startled me, still in bed but I felt wide awake.
Me: What are you doing in my house? How did you get in?
Trump: My Secret Service people have the best keys. Now, about that article you wrote concerning a certain President of the United States.
Me: What article? What the hell are you talking about?
Trump: You know the one, the fake news about me being a liar?
Me: I’ve never had anything like that published.
Trump: Who said it was published? It’s on your computer.
Me: How do you know it’s on my computer?
Trump: My NSA people, my FBI people, my CIA people all saw it on your computer. Quit pretending you don’t know what I’m talking about.
Me: Okay, so I’m writing a piece. I start a lot of articles that never get finished.
Trump: I am the best president the USA ever had, and you write that I am a liar?
Me: My opinion. But I think there are one or two others.
Trump: Fake news. You are writing about the person who has suffered more than any other on earth, ever.
Me: How is it you suffered?
Trump: Once I was down to my last hundred million, and the cook had pneumonia and didn’t show up. Of course, I fired her, but breakfast was a half hour late since the upstairs maid had to make it. You don’t know suffering. I could have starved to death.
Me: I don’t know how manage these horrors, Donald!
Trump: Life isn’t easy for me you know. Once I had to go to an office downtown Manhattan and sign for my inheritance. Of course, over my lifetime that was the only actual work I ever did, but it interfered with a party that day and my reputation as one who’s never missed a party was completely destroyed. It was humiliating. I’ve suffered greatly.
Me: How dreadfully dire, Donald.
Trump: You don’t know the half of it. Not only did I miss the party (tears were clearly running down his face at this point), but the shiny new limo that was supposed to take me home broke down and they sent a substitute, a year old limo. I hid my face, of course not wanting people to see me riding in a year old limo. I have suffered Balkwill, and now you mock me in an article.
Me: I apologize Donald, I didn’t know how difficult your life has been….
Trump: I know more about suffering than anyone. Did you know I had bone spurs?
Me: Of course, you are famous for your bone spurs. Because of that, they sent me to Vietnam in your place.
Trump: Yes, and I’m sure you are happy to have replaced one suffering so much from the most terrible bone spurs ever.
Trump: Besides, if you had been killed in Vietnam, who would have cared?
Me: Good point, I am of the peasant class and my untimely demise would not have been noted. Waste of a good casket, I agree.
Trump: NSA tells me you have a degree in journalism. I know more about journalism than anyone. Dump the article, it’s not only fake, but it’s crap. I have never told a lie in my life. I told my father “I did it with my little axe” when he wondered aloud who chopped down his cherry tree.
Me: That’s why I haven’t sent it to a publisher yet. It’s a work in progress and there are facts to be checked. I do have questions.
Trump: Questions about what?
Me: I’m wondering if you could give me the names of those Russian women who peed on you in that Moscow hotel room with the pink sheets on the queen-sized bed?
Trump: Never happened, and the sheets were baby blue
it was a king-size, um… I’m told.
Me: Is it true you pay absolutely nothing in federal taxes, and that’s why you don’t allow the public to see your tax forms?
Trump: I sign a tax form and write off what’s legal to write off, but the government won’t let me show you because I’m under audit.
Me: It is your government, Donald, you head the executive branch and those folks work for you. And instead of paying taxes, you have contributed to political campaigns to get elected officials to enact laws resulting in those tax write-offs so you can avoid paying taxes?
Trump: I gave legal contributions to Hillary Clinton when she ran for the Senate in New York, and others, and if they want to give me some immunity from taxes, I can’t do anything about it. I would be happy to pay more taxes, but the political class keeps creating loopholes for billionaires who finance their campaigns, which is a strange coincidence—I don’t think the money’s related at all.
Me: So you donated to Hillary’s senatorial campaign?
Trump: Gotta pay to play. And then the bitch had the gall to run against me for the White House. Imagine that. But I beat her and had the largest inaugural crowd in history, over five billion I think, there on the Washington mall, missed entirely by the fake news people.
Me: And I understand Ivanka and Jared threw a fundraiser for Cory Booker when he ran for the Senate?
Trump: If you had money you’d understand, you back the winners to get the best government money can buy. That’s how democracy works, but how would you know, you are a hack writer who never made any money?
Me: So there really is no difference between the Dems and Republicans?
Trump: What are you, an idiot? Republicans represent the rich. Democrats pretend to represent the working class. The big difference is in the spelling of the party name. Democrat, you see, starts with a “D.” And that’s the biggest difference.
Me: Is it true that you billionaires not only pay no taxes but get tax credits for a net gain?
Trump: Did you get a look at my tax forms? I thought we had them in a strongbox.
Me: Your fellow billionaire Leona Helmsley told us that “Only the little people pay taxes.”
Trump: Leona married into money, she didn’t know enough to keep her fat mouth shut.
Me: Why should I bury my article about you being a big liar?
Trump: Several reasons. First, I am undoubtedly the best looking president the USA ever had, the smartest by far—my IQ test is off the charts, and I am the best liked—have you seen the crowds when I speak? Record crowds every time, averaging maybe oh, a couple billion. And the last reason would kill you.
Me: And what would that be?
Trump: The Secret Service finds out you’re a terrorist and they gun you down.
Me: But I’m not a terrorist.
Trump: My new fixer has planted evidence all over the internet that you want to blow up the Trump Tower, and at any time could convince the Secret Service they have to act quickly before you commit your terrorist act.
Me: So you’re making me an offer I can’t refuse?
Trump: My fixer might put it that way. Tell me you won’t allow a piece on me to be published and this can go away, like aah, my tax returns.
Me: Okay, just as truthful as you would be, you have my word.
And with that, the stable genius vanished into the ether.
Jack Balkwill has been published from the little read Rectangle, magazine of the English Honor Society, to the (then) millions of readers USA Today and many progressive publications/web sites such as Z Magazine, In These Times, Counterpunch, This Can’t Be Happening, Intrepid Report, and Dissident Voice. He is author of “An Attack on the National Security State,” about peace activists in prison.