I can remember everything that happened that day; everything was so normal. I remember waking up and lazing in bed for a few minutes, enjoying the warm slice of sunshine that peeked between my curtains. I remember stumbling about my room, my eyes slumberous and my mouth yawning. I took a shower, brushed my hair. Made some coffee. I didn’t have to go to work until ten, so I put on a jacket and took a walk down to the nearby cafe to get breakfast.
I remember the March morning air being so sharp and crisp that I immediately became more aware, and my remaining sleepiness from earlier slipped away. I remember looking around my neighborhood, admiring the signs of spring and the evidence of winter coexisting; small, icy piles of snow crested the sidewalk, but I saw a few trees blooming in my neighbors’ yards.
The cafe was roughly a block and a half from my apartment, and as I neared it, I noticed that Ms. M’s blue bike was lying up against the brick side of the establishment. I rolled my eyes. I liked Ms. M well enough, but she was just so political. Everytime I bumped into her, I had to hear all about “Donald Trump this” and “Donald Trump that” and “we need universal healthcare” and “if we had a Democrat for president, none of this would be happening!” I’m not a very political person. I vote, of course, but I don’t care for politics when it’s not the season. Most of the time, politics are just dull and uninteresting to me.
I passed Ms. M’s bike (which had a shiny new DNC sticker stuck to the basket of the bike), took a deep breath, and entered the cafe. The cafe was cozy, with warm red brick walls, a dark wood countertop at the register, and circular tables and plush benches that dotted the floor. The walls were covered in the artwork of local painters and photographers, and twinkling string lights ran across the ceiling. The buzzing sound of chit-chat drew me to realize that there were more patrons in the cafe than normal, and they were all huddled around a table near the front counter. Most of them were neighbors, and from their backs I guessed they were Debby Berkshire, Good Ol’ Joe Baker, Hector Santana, and Beverley Rex and her wife, Crystal.
As I stepped forward, a head sprouted out of the middle of the huddle. It was Ms. M. “Pascal! I was on Twitter this morning,” oh no, “and I was looking at Donald’s latest tweet,” great, “and THIS is what I saw!”
I sighed and walked over to the table. Ms. M held her cellphone out toward me, and, with much resignation, I looked at the screen.
“What do you think?!” Ms. M cried.
“Hold on, I haven’t even read it yet,” I said. I stared down at the blue screen, which displayed the latest tweet from Donald Trump.
Just want to apologize for calling NY Times “failing.” #apologize #sorry #POTUS
“Weird isn’t it?” Ms. M pulled her phone back towards herself, and stared at the screen with one eyebrow cocked. “And there’s more.”
Crystal turned toward me, her own phone in hand. “Check it out, Pascal.”
I took Crystal’s phone and began to scroll through Donald Trump’s Twitter feed.
Most of the tweets were simple, pleasant messages:
Good morning! I hope everyone has a great day! #goodmorning #sunshine
But then the tweets became…abnormal. Their content wasn’t strange, but coming from Donald Trump, they certainly were…different.
Took a hike this morning. America has such beautiful trees! The most beautiful trees I’ve ever seen! Thankful for National Parks protecting America’s beautiful landscapes. #onewiththetrees #letsbuildatreehouse #national parks #grateful
I wasn’t incredibly familiar with Donald Trump’s Twitter account, but I was aware that his tweets were often controversial. These new tweets were different from the samples that Ms. M usually shoved into my face whenever I ran into her. I scrolled through the next few tweets, and came across a few more abnormal ones.
2017 was one of the hottest years on record. Sad. America – and Republicans like myself – can do more to slow global warming. Recycle! #climatechange #globalwarming #sorryididntbelievescientists #lol #recycle
“Hmm. I thought Trump didn’t believe in climate change,” I said. I could have been wrong, but then again, I wasn’t familiar with the political beliefs of most politicians, and only had a vague idea of what Donald Trump’s opinions were.
“He doesn’t believe in climate change!” gasped Ms. M, “something’s up! Keep reading, Pascal! It goes from weird to weirder!”
I continued reading. The tweets were strange – some of them were unusual because they contained polite, pleasant language, but others were completely off the wall. Even with my limited knowledge of Trump, I knew he sounded like a completely different person.
My new years resolution? Better represent not just the GOP but the American people regardless of political party. Whats yours? #newyearnewme #new year vibes #GOP
And their weirdness kept progressing…
Feminists? In MY country?! Love it #womensrightsarehumanrights #5050 #feminism #feminist
I was about to announce my perplexity about the tweets, when Ms. M let out a squeak. “He’s live tweeting! He’s live tweeting!”
Suddenly, Crystal ripped the phone from my hand and all heads turned to their phones. “What did he say?” I cried; I tried leaning over the table to catch what was on Ms. M’s phone.
“‘Hey, I’ve been doing some thinking.’ That’s the first one, but there’s more!” Ms. M slid her phone onto the middle of the table so we could both read the tweets.
There’s so much hate #why can’t we love each other
I honestly want to take a warm bath rn, but like, I don’t know I went thru this thing last night. #anxietyattack #existentialcrisis #omg
I know i said my resolution was to be a better leader but like…
… I’m tired and i just want everyone to love each other but sometimes I don’t even feel like I can love
“Oh my god,” said Debby Berkshire. “It’s getting so juicy.”
I’m sorry to all my fans, but I need to take a break #apology #fans
I need to start all over. #newstart #tired #sorry
I’m getting a new job somewhere else (location won’t be disclosed, I need to be alone). I’ll be back in June #break #president #barista
I want to bring happiness to many people with my new job. I just need time to think
“Is that all?” asked Hector Santana after reading the last tweet. It seemed that the live tweeting had come to an end.
“Yes, looks like that’s it.” replied Ms. M. She sat back into her seat with a dazed look in her eyes. “What does it all mean?” Her brow was crinkled with confusion. “What does it mean?”
I didn’t know what the rest of the of the group was thinking, but I could tell that Ms. M was immensely confused. We leaned over the phones in silence, taking in all the tweets.
From behind us, at the counter, someone cleared their throat. “Excuse me?”
Upon hearing the voice, my eyes bulged – I looked again at Ms. M, whose jaw was slack. There’s no way. Is it…? I stared at Ms. M, the intensified confusion on her face reflecting my own. I slowly turned toward the counter, scanning for who had spoken, only to find my absurd prediction proven. It was him. It was Donald Trump, behind the counter.
He looked different, younger and almost angelic. His skin was so clear it was almost glowing, and his eyes were sparkling. He was wearing a white apron and one of his hands was resting on the register. “Hello? Would you guys like anything to drink or eat today?” he asked.
Ms. M let out a stifled cry, Hector Santana made a small choking noise in the back of his throat, and the rest of us just stared. Donald Trump continued talking.
“Our special today is minestrone, but we also have French onion soup, and both come with a side salad.”
I wanted to say something, but I didn’t know what. Should I order breakfast? Should I ask when he started working at the cafe? Should I mention the tweets? I didn’t know what to do, and even if I had known what to say, I couldn’t have said anything anyways. My mouth, my tongue, my vocal chords wouldn’t work – this must be the new job he tweeted about. I was in shock.
“As for something to drink,” said Donald Trump, “we have plenty of teas and…”
– he gestured to the bags of coffee beans on the counter –