How to Be Married to the Emperor

“Corinne is definitely going to win this thing,” she texted Kellyanne.

Her husband’s advisor wrote back within seconds. “🙄No way. It’s Vanessa all the way. 👯👯👯.”

M. was pretty sure she knew more about men than Kellyanne, but Kellyanne knew more about ratings, so it was still up in the air which of them would win this fantasy Bachelor pool. “It’s still anyone’s game. Who did Karen Pence choose?”

“Oh all her picks were out two episodes ago. I don’t think she really watches. It’s down to us. Don’t forget to work on that Easter Egg Roll. LOL. Heart your face Melly!”

She liked the nickname Melly. It reminded her of the chubby First Lady turned presidential candidate on Scandal. She still had one season of Scandal to catch up on, but she’d been saving it.

M. put the phone down and stretched out onto the couch, smiling at her threadbare sweatpants and fuzzy bunny slippers. Mmmmm, she ran her hands over the soft fabric. This is what it’s like to dress like a woman. It was good to have him down in DC. She’d already missed two seasons of The Bachelor because of that damn campaign. 18 months of every television in every house being turned to a different cable news network.

Jo Piazza How to Be Married

She’d caught up on all the best TV in the past week and a half. Adored the first four episodes of Black Mirror. But the Americans really fucked it up once they got their hands on it.  It’s not that she planned on just sitting on the couch all day. But it was hard to leave the house with all of the protestors. The one time she’d tried to wander over to Serendipity to get a frozen hot chocolate she was smacked in the face with a sign that read “Immigrants We Get the Job DONE.” It took the protestor, a slight gay with unfortunate eyebrows, a second to recognize her. When he did a blush crept over his face as if he couldn’t decide whether to ask her for a selfie or pull her hair. She smiled at his sign. “We really do, don’t we,” she whispered.

Of course this ban was an absurd idea. She would have told D. that, but they didn’t talk about that kind of thing. They didn’t talk about any kind of thing, not really. Sometimes she did practice what she would say….if he asked her.

She’d recently been reading up on the concept of cruelty, as posited by Judith Shklar the Harvard scholar and former refugee who fled the Nazis and Soviet invasion in 1939. Melly wanted to quote Shklar to D., telling him that “when one begins with cruelty, an enormous gap between private and public life seems to open up. It begins with the exposure of the feebleness and pettiness of the reasons offered for public enormities, and goes on to a sense that governments are unreal and remote from the actualities about which they appear to talk.”

Of course she could also put it in terms he would understand.

“You banned people from Somalia. Somalia makes beautiful women. Remember that time you told me you’d fuck Iman so much better than that pansy Bowie ever could. Do you want to keep more women who look like Iman out of the country?”

She never watched the news at home alone, couldn’t stand to see the never-ending loop of herself from the Inauguration events. Before she watched the pundits pundit over her facial expressions and whether or not D had opened the door for her and whether or not Michelle Obama thought she was simply the worst, she’d been quite pleased with herself that day.

Not everyone agreed.

“You look downright modest today. Classy. No Russian sex tiger,” SB, her husband’s oblong-shaped and persistently sweaty advisor, curled his stubby fingers into claws and snarled at her that morning before they left their hotel for the White House that morning. She didn’t bother to remind him one more time that she wasn’t Russian. She hated the Russians. He patted her on the ass through her thin crepe skirt. Russian sex tiger was one of the regular nicknames in SB’s rotation for her. He alternated between that, the gypsy princess and the commie bitch. But never in front of D. The man smelled like a peculiar mixture of Cheetos and wet dog and he was always eating those individual sized Cozy Shack pudding snacks and leaving the gooey tops all over the place.

She’d sat on one in the limo on the way to the Capitol. Thankfully her coat covered the brown Rorschach blot on her ass.

“Want me to lick it off,” SB practically drooled. She smiled, showing too many teeth, and thought to herself, I hope your balls catch on fire.

Back at home, the penthouse was quiet except for the new Secret Service detail quietly playing Angry Birds on his phone out in the hallway. He was a handsome young Latino man with biceps the size of a baby’s head. What would it take to make him look at her? What would it take to bring him back to her bed? She laughed at the thought. Another man was the last thing she needed in her life. She could be happy alone forever.

Her phone dinged. Kellyanne?

No. D. That was a surprise. Maybe Twitter was down.

“Steve thinks we need to get a dog. America loves a dog. Terrific idea. Everyone agrees.”

She considered a moment before she wrote back. “Ruff!”

Time for bed. Sexy Secret Service looked up. On instinct she bit her lip and glanced back at him over her shoulder on her way to the bedroom. It had been days since she’d bothered with makeup at all, hadn’t put on a stitch of eyeliner since Jesus her trainer came by last Tuesday for a personalized ballet boot camp and invited her down to his wedding in Turks.

“Would it look bad for you to go to a gay wedding?” he’d asked, his eyes sad like a Labrador puppy who has had their toy taken away.

For a second she wasn’t entirely certain, but then she shook her head. “In the hierarchy of things he hates the gays seem to be after fat women, Muslims, Elizabeth Warren and Australia right now.” She paused. “You’re not Mexican are you?”

He shook his head. “Ecuadorian.”

“He doesn’t know where that is.”

She washed her face, carefully applying Noxzema with a wash cloth because the smell reminded her of her mother.

She’d grown used to sleeping alone. They’d had separate bedrooms since B was born. “Daddy duty’s not my thing super model. Done that. This is on you,” were the first words he’d said when he laid eyes on their son. Fine by her. Her four room suite was replicated in all ten of their houses. None of the gold plated baroque accents that had been vomited on the rest of their properties by that retched first wife. None of the tropical print, macaron pastels of the Palm Beach property. Her rooms were mid-Century modern, sleek lines, no color. Would she have a suite like this in Washington? It was a big house. It would probably be fine.

Everyone blamed her for staying here. No one considered the possibility that her husband was the one who asked her to stay in New York.

“The city’s footing the bill. What would you do around here any way? Stay at home, gives me a reason to get out of that godforsaken swamp on the weekends.”

She carefully placed an eye mask over the top half of her face and tucked her ear buds into her ears, just in case the Secret Service was listening. She fell asleep to the same recording every night. Sometimes it took just a minute or two, other nights she lay for hours playing it on a loop.

“You’re a good woman.”

“You deserve love.”

“You deserve kindness.”

“You’re strong and capable and smart.”

“The worst will soon pass.”

To be continued………

Image courtesy of Flickr User DonkeyHotey.


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