Helsinki -The Play – Chapt 11

Photo by Aaron Kittredge on

White House – Evening – South Lawn – Three weeks later.

Trump and Melania are walking alongside.

Melania – What was the point of insulting Lebron James, the basketball player?

Trump – It got away from me.

Melania – The man had just helped fund a school for underprivileged children.

Trump – Please stop.

Melania – It is so unbecoming of a President.

They walk in silence.

Melania – And then you keep having those rallies…

Trump – We need to win in November. Both houses. I love my rallies… stirring up their fury…love it… and with every rally I validate them.

Melania – Validate them?

Trump – Sure… that they’ve been treated unfairly, like I have. Clinton’s ‘deplorables’, how could you forget? And by extension, the witch hunt.

Melania – (stopping) By extension?

He stops too.

Melania – Are you linking Hillary and Mueller?

Trump – Put her in jail! they chant, again and again.

Melania – Russian talk about their having damaging emails on Hillary started the investigation… but Mueller’s probe is not about Hillary’s campaign, it’s about yours… and if you link them to stir up your base, then you’re guilty of manipulating their admiration for you and should be ashamed of yourself. Hillary is one thing, the probe quite another… which your own attorney general recused himself from overseeing… and you can’t stop badgering him for… which smells of a clear intent to cover up.

He looks at her, then lowers his head as he pinches the base of his nose.

Trump – (calmly but with an edge to his voice) It’s a witch hunt… a rigged witch hunt… and neither I nor anyone working on my instructions obstructed justice. That’s all you need to know.

Melania – No, it’s not. And you’re not brushing me off.

They stand glaring at each other.

Trump – So I’m guilty?

Melania – You’re acting like it.

Trump – (Irritated) Why don’t you go back to New York and leave me alone?

Melania – I’m staying right here. I am your wife and there’s something wrong with you. And I’m not about to abandon ship.

He shakes his head slowly.

Melania – And now you’ve started to have those bad dreams…

Trump – I’ve only had three or four…

Melania – How about seven or eight?

Trump – They’re not coming back, I know that.

Melania – You have no control over them.

Trump – Yes, I do.

Melania – What are the dreams about?

Trump – I can’t remember anything.

Melania – Then how the heck can you have control over them?

Trump – I just do.

Melania – Nonsense.

Trump – (angrily) You are not inside my mind! I do not remember my dreams, okay? I do not.

Melania – Then you can’t have control over them.

Trump – Yes, I can.

Melania – How?

Trump – Because after every rally, after I vent my frustrations, I go for at least two or three nights without any nightmares.

Melania – So you’ll need to keep having rally after rally, whipping your base into a rage… so you can sleep better at night… is that it?

Trump – I think they’ll fade.

Melania – You’ll beat down your dreams with the help of your adoring crowds.

Trump – Something like that.

They are quiet for a moment.

Melania – It is madness… pure madness.

Trump – You want me to see a psychiatrist, is that it?

Melania – Why not? You have nothing to lose. You seem unable to reflect on what’s happening even as it’s staring you in the face, even as you’re moving for a head on collision… so maybe… maybe… speaking to someone like that might help you save your presidency.

He just looks at her.

Melania – (gently) Dee… the party won’t do it for you. They’re probably already plotting against you.

Trump – I don’t doubt it, but they won’t get away with it.

She closes in and puts her hands on his shoulders.

Melania – There’s still time to find your higher self… I know it’s in you… reach for it, please… it’s in there. Beneath the hooting and hollering of your adoring crowds… lies a desire for clarity… a yearning for connection with themselves and their fellow human beings… you can lead them there… but you can’t do it if you haven’t found that place in yourself. Do you understand what I’m saying?

He nods uncertainly.

Melania – Doing that… is more important than your presidency.

Trump – (softly, incredulously) What?

Melania – You owe your base complete honesty… they brought you this far… it’s been an incredible ride… you never imagined it would be this rich… they made you president… but dark clouds have gathered over you and you have to answer with honesty… you owe them that… and what will be, will be. They have been disappointed by others that came before you… don’t join in with those… you have a unique chance to do the right thing… and that would be priceless. And no matter what… I’ll stand by you.

Look at me, do you believe me?

Trump – I don’t know… I’ve cheated on you so many times… disrespected you…

Melania – And still I love you… and believe in you.

She takes his hands in hers and kisses them as she looks up at him.

Melania – Dee… I’m here because of you… I’m not a hostage to this glamour.

Trump – Melania… I appreciate what you’re telling me but it’s going to be okay. I’m making money for my people, that’s what really counts.

Melania – No!

She pulls away brusquely and stalks off a few paces before she pivots to face him again.

Melania – You’re leading a nation, not a company! We need more than money, we need a sense that we care for each other… a sense that we share a truth… that we’re a community!

Because it’s not every man for himself, it can’t be… we can’t be the best we can without family… we can’t be the best we can without schools… we can’t be the best we can without the skills of others… we can’t be the best we can without talking and understanding each other… and you have been failing at that. Do you hear me?

He goes to her and embraces her. After a moment of quiet, they start to sway lightly in each other’s arms.

Melania – You have to find and harness the strength of the entire country, not simply the strength of a part of it.

They pull apart as they face each other and hold hands.

Trump – You don’t think I’m being treated unfairly?

Melania – I do not. The Mueller probe is an effort to preserve the nation. You need to respect that.

Trump – I didn’t collude… but maybe… Russia’s interference did throw the election my way.

She looks at him.

Trump – I have to allow for that possibility.

Melania – Did you obstruct justice?

Trump – I did not.

She closes her eyes for a moment.

Melania – If you could say that in public…

Trump – I’ve been saying that I didn’t collude…

Melania – No, the part about you now believing that Russian interference did influence the election in your favor… and that if not, maybe Hillary would’ve been elected.

Trump – What difference would that make?

Melania – A huge difference.

Trump – Even if it can’t be proved?

Melania – Even so. Just that statement would give the nation a sense that we prize fairness… and that you, as our leader, values it most of all… and it would remind us all of how egregious has been the action of another nation to violate our sovereignty, and how we must pull together to defend ourselves and our way of life… and to impose whatever sanctions are needed to put an immediate halt to that kind of interference. 

Trump – But I would be putting my legitimacy in question…

Melania – Your legitimacy has been in question… but in the absence of proof you could not be removed from office, and you would have the rest of your term to strengthen us as a country.

Trump – It would raise the likelihood of impeachment…

Melania – Not if you have nothing to hide.

Trump – They could come up with fake evidence…

Melania – That’s your paranoia talking. You have to check that. In the end… if impeachment comes… you have to trust that your own sense of fairness will be repaid.

He shakes his head slowly.

Trump – I’m not as trusting as you are.

Melania – I’ll stand by you.

She takes him by the hand and they walk off toward the White House.     also available in, apple and google podcasts and buzzsprout.

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