From the Far Margins 

The audition

The hallway was filled with sweaty Republican congressmen and senators, gold crosses, chest hair, musk cologne. One of Trump's handlers came out, told us all to fill out audition forms. The three questions were clearly meant to humiliate us. I knew this, thus I could not be humiliated. That is what I reasoned.

The Questions: 1. Will you do what I say even if it means unleashing tear gas on a room full of kittens and baby seals? 2. Can you make me look like I care? 3. Will you admit your penis is smaller than mine?

Questions No. 2 and 3 were easy. Number 1 I wrestled with but then concluded that, since it was tear gas, it was something the kittens would eventually get over. I had a cat at home. I didn't care much about seals.

When it was my turn, I was nervous. I readjusted my Add the Words button and gave myself another squirt of patchouli. Ahead of me in line was one of the bearded Robertsons from Duck Dynasty. I don't know which one. He kept eyeing the thick black leg hair poking through my pantyhose.

An intern with a clipboard wandered the line taking notes. He asked a few of the Wall Street types for urine samples.

When my name was called, Ivanka came out and greeted me with a stiff outstretched hand. Digging her colored nails into my flesh, she whispered loudly, "There is no f*cking way you are getting this job." She smiled at the long line of waiting applicants in their suits and ties. Turning to me she hissed, "He wants to see you anyway."

Donald looked up from his phone as I came in. A tall cardboard box sat upended in the center of the room like a lectern. He motioned to me to step up to it and rotated his hand in the air like I was supposed to start speaking.

"So, tell me, you've got a cornfield, or something like a cornfield. I need a guy with a cornfield. You're not a guy. I know you're not a guy. We ruled that whole thing out. 'Donald,' women said to me, they called and said, 'Donald you don't have to play the woman card.'"

He stood and pursed his lips, looking slightly contemplative.

"And where did we get you?" he said. "Don't take this personally, you know I never mean it personally, but pancake flat? Nothing, nothing there. What? Size quadruple-A? And Idaho? I-da-hoe? What I really need is a cornfield. You know, a place with rows of corn your daddy plowed?"

I opened my mouth thinking I would say that I didn't have a cornfield but that I had once lived in a goat pasture. But Donald went on.

"And you believe in God? You and God are good? I know I shouldn't have to ask, but, I've got to have someone who talks God... who can bring up God. You know and I know, in this I've got to have God... any VP has got to really make people feel that this campaign is about God... and it would be better if I have a farmer with a cornfield," he said. "Let's hear you do that. About me, just talk. Talk. Show me you can make me look good."

He stepped back.

I cleared my throat and stepped to the box. One or two of the previous auditioners, probably one of the congressmen, must have been nervous. I wished I had a sani-wipe because the box itself was wet and smelled like sweat—panic sweat.

"I'm not a Republican," I said.

"You're not. Right. I mean I knew that specifically Republican—it's not your specialty." Donald was smiling. He was amused by the thought. "How did you think that would work for me? Tell me how you'd make that work for me?"

He paused, eyebrows raised, waiting for my reply.

"And I'm gay," I said.

Here Donald smiled his big, fake, pursed-lip smile.

"Everybody's gay, aren't they?" he said. "People tell me all the time... they tell me... 'I'm gay, I'm gay.' But does it matter here? Yes, I'm saying it would throw people off. They'd talk... It would make them think... " he stopped. "The gay thing, that's soooo not going to help me."

Here Donald looked up and yelled toward the door at the front of the room.

"Next," he shouted.

Half amused and half angry, he turned to me: "It's been nice. Really, really nice. But I'm done. People out there know I'm done. People, even the gay people, will understand. They'll call and say it was the right thing. They'll say, 'Donald, you should tell the gay senator from Idaho you're done.'"

Ivanka saw me out. I got a call back though, a second audition a week later. Donald and I did shots of wheatgrass juice and he talked. It went something like: "The wheatgrass helps me with my energy... my stamina on the campaign, giving speeches. I give so, so many speeches and I... you know... or maybe you don't know... I need to get it up after. Believe me, we've all got to get it up after... So I love women's breasts. You and I, we both love women's breasts. Have some more wheatgrass."

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