ALEXANDRA: Welcome back! Good news! I’m almost completely over my fear of nuclear war! Now, civil war on the other hand…

MICHAEL: Yay? How did you get paint on your nose and what on earth are you making?

ALEXANDRA: Jello. And I’m anxiety painting. Do you like the color?

MICHAEL: Of the jello?

ALEXANDRA: Of the bedroom. It’s supposed to be calming.

MICHAEL: How are artificial colors and high-fructose corn syrup supposed to be calming?

ALEXANDRA: Jesus, Michael. The color in the bedroom is supposed to be calming. I found an old Feng Shui book when I was rage purging and it suggested this specific color of green to nurture our Chi and improve vitality. Keep up. I know you fall into the habit of blocking out all high-pitches voices when you’re on the road, but you’ve only been gone three weeks. Have you already abandoned the tenets of that Active Listening workshop we attended last year, Michael?

MICHAEL: That’s more than two Mooches ago! And just in case you haven’t been paying attention to the world, a LOT can happen in three weeks.

ALEXANDRA: Christ, Michael. I’d already forgotten Scaramucci. Now I’m going to have that damn Queen song stuck in my head again. Though I guess it beats Bonnie Tyler. And OF COURSE I’ve been paying attention, Michael. What a typical male response to think Kittery and I just sit here in a state of stasis while you’re out mansplaining to conference rooms full of lemmings.

MICHAEL: If it makes you feel better, I was heckled.

ALEXANDRA: OF COURSE THAT DOESN’T MAKE ME FEEL BETTER, MICHAEL! I don’t derive joy from other people’s pain. I mean, seriously. What kind of person would that make me? But maybe you could tell me anyway. Just so I can be supportive. Channel my inner Tammy Wynette, and all.

MICHAEL: When I suggested we skip the afternoon break because we’d fallen behind on the agenda, someone started screaming, “Reclaiming my time.”


MICHAEL: A woman.

ALEXANDRA: Of color?

MICHAEL: Yes. Her bracelets clacking as she smacked the table sounded like a gavel. Scared me so much I dropped the clicker.

ALEXANDRA: OK, that does make me feel a little better. Thanks, Michael.

MICHAEL: I know what you like, Alex. Why are you saying my name so much? This feels like a test.

ALEXANDRA: I missed you, OK? A lot of bad things happened while you were gone and I’ve had to process them alone. We’ve been on the brink of war, Nazis are in the street, transgender people have been kicked out of the military, sperm counts are down, terrorists attacked in Spain, Katie Couric is afraid for our country, the Racist-In-Chief pardoned pure evil in human form, we didn’t win the Powerball… yet I couldn’t make myself go out and protest because I DON’T WANT TO DIE AND WHAT IF I NEVER HAD THE CHANCE TO SEE YOU AGAIN? I couldn’t reach my therapist because she’s had her own 45-induced psychotic break and I don’t understand what meds are and aren’t covered anymore anyway. So I had to self-medicate with indignant home improvement. Painting plaster instead of poster boards. I’m so tired and filled with self-hatred I can’t even find the energy to mock 45’s misuse of homonyms.

MICHAEL: Meh. That’s so common now they hardly bother me. THIS IS THE NORMALIZING THEY WARNED US ABOUT, isn’t it? It’s like I don’t even… Lord. Watching you dissolve gelatin is sexy. I hate to admit it, but it’s been so long since we’ve been intimate that hearing Scaramucci talk about Steve Bannon sucking his own cock sounded deeply erotic.

ALEXANDRA: Sorry, babe. Blowjobs are out. I’ve been grinding my teeth with such aggression that my TMJ is surging faster than hate and the sale of tiki torches. Also out? Sheet-caking, regardless of its possible cultural insensitiveness.

MICHAEL: Hence the jello?

ALEXANDRA: Hence the jello. But it turns out even jello is adapting to the times and has a line made with real sugar and natural colors. When I eat it, I feel like I’m wrapping eight-year-old me in a soft terry cloth towel after a bedtime bubble bath. But minus the cancer-laden talcum powder Mom used. WHY CAN’T AMERICA BE MORE LIKE JELLO, MICHAEL?!

MICHAEL: Everyone knows ‘natural colors’ is code. Monsanto propaganda. The claim ‘all natural’ is as unsubstantiated as those flatter folders 45 receives twice a day.

ALEXANDRA: Too bad we can’t genetically modify 45. Or at least paint over that hideous shade of orange that seems to be smeared all over the White House. Sure wish we could install some tongue and groove.

MICHAEL: ALEX! Did you just sink to my level? Speaking of floors, are you possibly outraged enough to consider changing the living room carpet?

ALEXANDRA: I’m one looming-government-shutdown away from hysteria. Why?

MICHAEL: I have an idea. How long does it take that jello to set? Might I suggest we try a little wrath-reducing wrestling.

ALEXANDRA: If you pull your keg out of the Spicer-sized mini fridge, it’ll be ready in an hour. But before you start stripping down, we have to strip the molding. Just got another news alert…