With apologies to Raymond Carver.

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Donald was talking. He’s the President, and sometimes that gives him the right. Donald, Melania, Mike, and Karen — “Mother,” Mike called her­ — were sitting around the table in the President’s dining room drinking Diet Coke and O’Doul’s. A blue light filled the room from the 40" flat screen set to Fox News with the sound turned off. It had been a successful week. Donald had signed an executive order giving fetuses the right to bear arms. Let’s even the playing field against the abortionist, he’d said. Donald was in a celebratory mood and had invited Mike and Karen to the White House. He was pleased when Mike said it would be the great privilege of his life to share a drink with the President.

The soda and nonalcoholic beer kept going around, and they somehow got on the subject of love. Donald said the white people in the country loved him. Melania reminded him that there were nonwhite people in the country, too. She was still prickly about the Stormy Daniels thing. Donald reached for her hand but she flicked it away.

“You see that Mike? I love a spicy woman. Out of all my wives, I love you the best, Melania. One hundred percent.”

Melania squinted her eyes even smaller than usual. “Okay, Donald.”

“I made you First Lady. How do you like that? Think that security guard could have done that for you? Loser. Get real.”

“Donald always has love on his mind,” Melania said. She raised her Diet Coke and drank.

“That’s right. You know what I did?” Donald said to Mike and Karen. “I still can’t believe it. I renegotiated our prenup. I didn’t have to. Everyone knew Melania was going to move to D.C. eventually. But I wanted Melania to get an additional 28 million. That’s love for you. Nobody loves like I do. Nobody.”

“Yes, Mr. President,” Mike said. He wondered if Donald had 28 million dollars.

“What about you guys?” Donald asked. “Making a woman First Lady or Second Lady even, doesn’t that sound like love to you?”

“The love of a good woman is part of the Lord’s plan for every man. Isn’t that right, Mother,” Mike said. He smiled at Karen. She smiled back and made a mental note to pray for Donald and Melania’s marriage. Then she made a note to pray for Stormy, and all the other women who fell victim to Donald’s nefarious charm. Then it struck her. Could Mike be a victim of his nefarious charm as well? She wasn’t sure but resolved to pray harder.

“We should get some fries,” Donald said. “Let’s get the Secret Service to go on a Micky D run and get some fries.” He had just finished his second Diet Coke and the caffeine was making him jittery. “You know who else loves me? Kim Jong-un. He doesn’t say it, but he loves me. Can’t stop talking about me. He’s just like a woman. When they insult you, pretend to be angry, they want to have sex with you. Am I right?”

“You’re playing him perfectly, Mr. President,” Mike said.

“Thank you, Mike. You know, I’m ready to nuke him. I am. It hasn’t come to that, but if it does, I’m prepared.”

“Yes, Mr. President.”

“If I nuke North Korea, you know who would love me? Everyone. The entire fucking planet would love me if I got rid of that little rocket twerp. Am I right? Melania knows I’m right. Melania, you want some fries?”

“Donald, you know I don’t eat carbs.”

“That’s right, cause you’re a ten, baby, not some pig. A ten!” He slammed his hand on the mahogany table to emphasize his point. Melania smiled for the first time that evening. “See, she loves me.” He leaned in for a kiss and she gave him her cheek. “Am I the best lover you ever had? Tell Mike. Tell these guys. I’m the best, believe me.”

Upon hearing the word “lover,” the memory of Melania’s last time with the security guard flashed through her mind­. She wondered if her feelings for him were carnal or sentimental love. Melania thought of his passionate vow to wait for her after impeachment. Her smile widened.

“Ah. See? That grin doesn’t lie,” Donald said.

Karen was uncomfortable but remembered Mike’s pep talk about sacrifice.

“Maybe we should order some food, Mr. President,” Mike suggested. The second O’Doul’s was taking effect, daring Mike to imagine his own inauguration.

“Yes, good idea,” Donald agreed. Mike wasn’t such a bad guy. Sure, Donald might have had more fun with Chris as his VP but it couldn’t be helped. The porky bastard did it to himself with that Charlie Kushner business. Mike and Karen’s sex life was something of a curiosity to Donald. Having sex with a woman three years older than you? That must be love. He closed his eyes briefly and tried to imagine what it’d be like making love to a four. He couldn’t see it. Being a man of the world, Donald also knew that those who professed to hate homosexuality the most were usually gay themselves. He thought about hiring a male prostitute to seduce the VP to test his theory. It might prove useful to have something in his back pocket if Mueller called Mike before the grand jury. He made a mental note to ask Jared to set up a meeting with his father Charlie on the particulars. The Kushners were good people. Jews loved him. Israel loved him. He let out a thundering belch.

“Very good, Mr. President, “ Mike said.

Donald gestured with his thumb toward Mike, “This guy’s so tight he probably never belched a day in his life.” Karen let out a high-pitched squeal that sounded like a hiccup. This flattered Donald who thought if Melania did her hair and makeup, she could maybe bring Karen up to a five, five-and-a-half.

“I want to talk to my children,” Donald said. He was feeling fatherly all of a sudden.

“Donald, it’s Friday night,” Melania said, reminding him that Ivanka wouldn’t answer the phone on Shabbat. Everyone knew when Donald said “children” he meant Ivanka.

“She must love Jared so much not to talk to me on Friday nights. That’s some fucking love right there. Can you believe that? A love that keeps a daughter from her father?”

“Family is the most important thing,” Karen said.

“Yes! You’re absolutely right. Such a smart woman you got there, Mike. I’d like to send a nuclear strike right up that Jew’s ass!”

“Donald, for God’s sake,” Melania said as she refreshed everyone’s Diet Coke and O‘Doul’s.

“I’m just talking. The thing is, why do I have the nukes if nobody wants me to use them?”

“With great power, comes great responsibility, Mr. President,” Mike said.

“No one is greater than me, I can tell you that.”

“How about we pray on nuclear weapons,” Karen said.

“I’d love to use them. I swear, just once. Just once. That’s something I would absolutely love,” Donald said.

“How about we order some food?” Mike said.

All four agreed but they just sat there, not one of them moving, Donald imagining the beautiful mushroom cloud in his head.