Deep State looked across the desk at Mitchell, the couples counselor he and the President had decided to see. His relationship with Don-Don had been rocky for some time now. They fought constantly and had even begun to disagree about which Fox program to listen to during nap time. It had taken all of Deep State’s resolve to demand that they try therapy.

Mitchell smiled kindly his direction. Deep State inhaled and began.

“I love my little Don-Don,” Deep State said, although at the moment looking at Don-Don was more than he could bear. “I really do. But he blames me for everything, and—”

Don-Don leaned forward in his plush velvet chair. “I don’t blame you for everything—

“Yes, you do, you do blame me for everything.”

The president shook his head. “I blame me for the good things. All the good things. Like the economy, the jobs, all the jobs in the economy. So many of them. All of them. And the wars. When we win the wars, which we always do. Jobs and wars. I take the blame for those.”

“This is what he does,” Deep State looked at Mitchell as he pointed at Don-Don. “He twists things.”

“I don’t twist things,” the president shook his head. “You twist things.”

“Now, what I’m noticing—” Mitchell the counselor began, but Deep State interrupted him.

“You’re acting defensive. See how defensive you’re acting.”

“I’m not acting defensive!” 

“You prove my point when you act so defensive.”

“You’re the one who’s acting defensive!” 

Trump looked at the clock on the wall behind Deep State. He squinted but still couldn’t determine the time clearly. It was very confusing to figure out where all those arrow things were pointing. Either it was nearly 3pm or 29-hundred hours. Stupid military time! And why wasn’t that clock digital?! If they didn’t hurry up with this counseling thing he’d miss his executive time. He didn’t like to miss his executive time. 

“You’ve no idea what it’s like to be me,” Deep State sighed heavily. “Blamed for everything, all the time. It’s not always my fault.”

“No idea? No idea! I’m the most persecuted president in history. Everyone says so. Washington. Hamilton. Sheen. Pullman, and also Paxton, I always forget who is which. Probably both of them, added together. We’ll see. Point is: no one has been persecuted more. No one.”

“You? The most persecuted. But everyone blames me for—”

“Don’t say it,” Trump glared at Deep State. “Don’t you say it.”

“I will not take responsibility—”

“With hunt!” Trump yelled.

“Guys, guys!” Mitchell held up his hands. He was really beginning to regret agreeing to take these two as clients. Worse, he’d have to bill insurance for the session, and he’d probably only get about sixty-percent of his usual fee. He took a deep breath. “Please, now let’s try and stay focused on the issues at hand. It’s essential that we don’t fall into hyperboles or generalizations.”

“I love my generals,” Trump said. “My generals love me. Many people have said that I should be made a five star general.”

Mitchell smiled tersely at the president, then leaned forward on his desk and looked toward Deep State.

“Would you like to move your chair further into the room? You’re sitting so far back in the shadows, it’s very difficult to see you clearly.”

“No!” both Deep State and Trump cried.

Mitchell sighed and scratched his goatee. He decided to try another tact. “Listen, one thing I’m hearing from you both that I think it would be good to talk about is responsibility. Taking responsibility.”

“What now?” Trump said. He was still struggling to read the clock on the wall. Why wasn’t the damned thing digital? And why would you even put an eleven on a clock when that’s never a real time?! Probably this was some sort of trick clock left over from the Obama administration. Sad.

“Ha,” Deep State muttered. “He’s too selfish to ever do anything like that.”

“Selfish?! Selfish! I try to build a preserve, an animal preserve, for the animals, along the border with Mexico, a moat where snakes and alligators can be safe, where they can run around and play like everyone knows they like to do. And the place is for the immigrants too, they can come and see the snakes and alligators, they can all see one another there at the preserve. But look what happens—I am accused of selfishness! I can’t win. I can’t.”

Deep State had to acknowledge that that was a very kind ecological act Don-Don had attempted. 

Mitchell cleared his throat. “Returning to—what I was… Many famous thinkers have argued that we can only be our true, authentic selves to the degree that we also take responsibility for our actions.”

“He doesn’t know what most of those words mean,” Deep State shook his head.

Trump wasn’t listening. Instead, he was squinting at the clock on the wall. When he got done with this therapy nonsense he would issue an edict making all clocks digital. And no more of this military time stuff. From now on everyone would be on astronaut time!

“Deep State,” Mitchell leaned forward. It really was difficult to see Deep State way back there in those shadows. “Can you tell Donald how his failing to take responsibility makes you feel?”

Trump shook his head as he looked around the room. Where was a Diet Coke when you needed one? Talk about a witch hunt. All those witches on their brooms out hunting Diet Coke. He’d have to put a stop to that, too. No more clocks and no more witches. Also, astronaut time! All these edicts were really going to cut into his executive time.

Deep State wove his fingers together and looked nervously at his shoes.

“It’s okay,” Mitchell assured him, “Just begin with, ‘I feel…’ and see where it takes you.”

Deep State nodded his head and inhaled slowly. 

“I feel like you only want to be close to me when you need to blame me for something, but anytime I need you you’re not available. And the thing is—I do need you, Don-Don. I can’t do anything without you. I’m not a proactive person. I couldn’t get a woman elected or shoot up an elementary school or fly planes into buildings. Are you kidding me? I can’t do those things. None of them. I can’t even manage to return my library books on time. I have so many fines it’s not even funny. Haven’t you noticed how useless I am? I’m worse than Don Jr.”

Trump couldn’t remember if Don Jr. was the son with the black hair or the red hair. He was certain Don Jr. was a son. Probably it was black hair. Either way, black or red, he was still a good kid. Not as hot as his sister, no, but then she was a ten. She really was. Maybe even an eleven. If only she wasn’t his daughter he would grab the hell out of her pussy. She was practically begging for it every day as it was, walking around the White House in those pants she wore. 

“All I can do is let you blame me when things don’t go the way you want them to,” Deep State sighed and continued. “And the thing is—I’ve resigned myself to that, I have, and it’s okay. I’m okay being your blaming bird, Don-Don. I love flapping my wings for you. But you have to remember that I have needs, too. Sometimes I just want to eat a couple overcooked cheeseburgers and get angry with our Foxy friends together, but you—you never have time to spend time with me anymore.”

Trump had been thinking about how hot Ivanka was until he heard Deep State say “overcooked cheeseburgers.” He leaned forward in his chair. A look of deep reflection formed upon his face. It was the same look he had when he was constipated from eating too many overcooked cheeseburgers. It was not a good look.

He could really go for an overcooked cheeseburger, Trump thought as he licked his lips and imagined how good that dry, overcooked cheeseburger meat would taste. Dry as those stacks of papers his intelligence people were always trying to get him to read. As if! But that dryness would be offset with the sweet tang of ketchup. So much ketchup. Bottles and bottles of it. So red and ketchupy! The thought caused a tear to roll thickly down his cheeks. 

“Wow, that was very powerful, Deep State. I think you really got through to him.” Mitchell said. When he cried the president looked a lot like he did when he was constipated from eating too many overcooked cheeseburgers. Mitchell shifted uncomfortably in his seat.

Deep State move forward from his seat in the shadows and placed an arm around Don-Don’s shoulder. The president petted Deep State’s head absently as he continued to think about the sharp, sweet bite of ketchup. How red it was.

“Well,” Mitchell said as he looked as his watch, “I think that’s about all for today.”

The president sighed and nodded. Finally, this therapy nonsense was done. “Oh-thirty-two-hundred time,” he acknowledged as he prepared for his executive time.

“Thank you,” Deep State smiled gratefully toward Mitchell. “Thank you so much.” He nudged Don-Don, who’d forgotten about his cheeseburger and instead had returned to thinking about Ivanka’s ass in those pants.

“Oh yes,” the president looked up and smiled absently. “It was a perfect conversation.”