The Gathering of the Trumps

No-one knows what gathers all the Donald Trumps. A fundamental force of Trumpity tunneling across time and space? A virtual exchange of Trumpons, enabling their existence by some kind of reverse-default credit swap against the energy budget of the universe itself? All they know is that they meet once a year. It happens in a place it pleases them to call the “Trump Tower”, though in truth it has no name, being more of an axis of worlds than an individual location.

They don’t call themselves Donald Trump, of course. For the obvious reason. And because it would get confusing. But they’ve collected new names, middle names, even nicknames among the Trumps who choose to operate at budget levels where human honesty is still possible.

Donald “Bill” Trump talks with Warren and Steve. No time wasted on the tedious details of software, stocks, or stylized consumer products. When you start with as much money as they did it doesn’t matter where your apply it, the capitalist Katamari guarantees you’ll gather more money from those who have less. From such a start only a total fool could even temporarily fail. Now they spend their lives and fortunes trying to reverse some of the ridiculous inequalities which made them possible.

They smile to see Jack Trump grinning in his gloriously tacky golf sweater. He’s not even that good at the game, but investing an inherited fortune in index-linked funds means you can walk the links for the rest of your life, and generous donations to charity tournaments ensuring a modest fame from appearances in sports and society pages. They don’t think anyone else enjoys their life as much.

Well, maybe Jack Trump, who just jived in the door. He scoops four flutes of champagne from the infinite buffet. Three are empty before he’s crossed the ten meters to talk to them. He never does anything but drink and party, but the interest on his estate alone is enough to tip all the wait staff in Manhattan. He boasts that even he couldn’t go bust with that much money.

A buzz, a bass hum, and sharp guitar licks across the room. Johnny Trump has found the stage again. Playing your own hotels and casinos is an outrageous indulgence, but the managers are happy to let him have the stage if they leave the businesses alone. It’s not like a dropped chord ever bankrupted a casino.

Father, Brother, Lama, Elder, Chaplain, Guru, and Imam Trump are having their usual friendly discussion. The only overlaps between all their varied views are thoughtfulness and charity, but that’s more than enough. The assembled Trumps — they’ve been arriving all along, usually a bit big, a bit bald, it’s beginning to look a bit like a Pac-man convention — all straighten a little when Captain Trump marches in. He’s making a determined effort to walk a little less intimidatingly these days, but even that determination makes bystanders want to stand to attention. Years of torture in that awful goddamn mess, he decided no soldier should suffered pointlessly again. His every building, from flophouse to the Hollywood hills, had at least one floor for servicemen with nowhere else to turn. “Hell, the next floor up pays for it!” he’d always say before forcing the interviewer to ask a different question. “I mean, what else am I going to do with it all, print out my bank balance and wave it at people?”

He strides across the room to clasp hands with George Trump. Another real estate mogul — there was a bit of a tendency across the Trumps in that direction, what with their father handing them an empire on a silver platter — his low-income estates had saved countless cities from decay. The gross wasn’t amazing, but it made enough, and it made all the difference to millions of lives. Then Louis Trump, who’d quietly ended a syndrome or two by funneling a few hundred million into underfunded research. Nothing sexy, nothing famous, just a few things no-one need ever suffer again.

Johnny licks out “Born to be Wild”, and they all raise a glass to Bobby Trump. Dead in a speedboat accident ten years ago, and only because the hovercrafts, helicopters, and an extremely short-lived Formula One car had failed. His funeral was the cover gallery of TIME, Cosmopolitan, and Playboy from the previous three years. He’d always said he’d consider spending every cent from the sale of his inheritance to be an impossible goal. He’d made it about halfway before he died, but everyone agreed he’d had a hell of a good time. And at least he’d never ended up squatting in an office.

Conversation dries up at the approach of midnight. It’s been fun, but they know why they’re really here. The lights flick out — every year a few Trumps swear they’ll bring torches next time, but they never do — and the Donald screams into the. An awful bilious thing, flushed, glaring, scorched with false color and screaming with rage. He can’t seem to see them. He can’t seem to see anything, outside himself. He only spews from within, his quivering body a lanced boil which never empties, a meat-portal into the pit of the most awful depths of the unconscious.

He yells, he blames, he hoards countless mansions while demolishing family homes, he fences the countryside for sale then leaves it bankrupt and rusting. He gold-plates toilets and refuses to settle the bill. A nine-figure fortune and he films himself in an office for a few thousand YouTube views. He employs his own children as cheerleaders, he begs and bullies and buys attention, he claims to tell truth to the world when he can’t even face his own hair. And if he could only see the horror in every eye turned to him right now, the Donald Trumps know, he’d take it as a victory over everything they might have been.

More Trumpeting:

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