A typical Tucson blue sky sparkles above us. Sipping a glass of Prosecco with a few friends at a pop-up patio restaurant. Other twos and threes sit socially distanced at their tables, respectful of our limited lives during this never-ending covid pandemic. We’re happy to be among people, birds singing on their branches. These days, an hour socializing, these days.
“No one I know will attend Monday’s manic and panicked rally at the Tucson International airport,” I say in this dream of a few nights ago. “Why is he even coming here?” We three book-group pals shake our heads, repeating nasty words.
“I hope they fumigate the airport afterward,” one friend says. “It’s so icky thinking of him being here.”
“Tucson is a Democratic city. The Republican Party didn’t even pick a mayoral candidate in last year’s election,” I say. “They knew it would be a waste of money.”
Sipping more wine on such a pleasant afternoon, I feel lucky. I’m hopeful that a decent man and a smart, joyful woman will win the Nov. 3 election.
Oh please, please, please, my dreaming brain pleads. The dream — or is it a nightmare? — continues.
That’s when I see him. Moving from table to table with two big guys alongside him, their eyes darting in search of Antifa supporters, women with extra-large purses, or regular women like us with brains.
One of the Secret Service guys is carrying a stack of books.
“Who wants to buy a copy? I’ll sign it,” the make-believe president says. “Only $15 each for the most fabulous, biggest ‘Art of the Deal.’ This is your last chance. Who knows where I’ll be after Nov. 3! Putin says I can stay in his guest room for as long as I want.
What about Melania? you ask. She’ll return to our gilded NYC apartment. What’s that?
Oh yes, she’ll be wearing a mask, not because of the disappearing-any-day virus. Why would she want anyone to recognize her in that snazzy ‘I don’t care’ jacket. Yeah, she’s bummed about having to wear the same thing more than once.
Maybe I’ll return to the United States in around three years when we finalize our divorce. I don’t think Russia has an extradition treaty with us. But what do I know, right? Vlad will keep me safe. That’s what he says and I believe him. Such a great guy, so much more honest than Obama! Plus, he’s white!”
I’m staring at him in disbelief. I can’t stand it. Jumping up from my seat as soon as I finish my drink, I run past him. I want to kick him in the balls. Hard. Mostly I want to wake up instead of hearing his voice.
The Secret Service guys pounce. “I hate the fucker,” I keep yelling as they restrain me, thinking how lucky I am to not be Black. I’d be dead by now. I’m only a woman who’s had enough.
This nightmare must end on Nov. 3.