The first millennial president spaces out. She’s looking at a word document. But not really looking. Seems like too much to care about. And there are other people being paid to do it in case she doesn’t feel like it. So she’s not sure what she’s supposed to be doing. It feels like studying for a shitty test. She feels bad.
She thinks about how you can do anything you want in the oval office. She thinks about killing herself in the oval office. She thinks maybe that would be good. She listens to Pedro the Lion’s last album, the one they put out after David Bazan – the only consistent member of the band – killed himself. Every song on the album is about wanting to kill himself. The last song on the album is about deciding to actually kill himself. She likes that the last song ends with him saying “oh my god” maybe a foot away from the microphone and putting his guitar down. You can hear it thunk against a wooden floor or something. It feels relatable.
One of the songs on the last Pedro the Lion album has a line in it that compares his divorce to being the president: “When things end like this / you convince yourself it’s useless / I think how lonely it must be / being president of the land of the free / one nation under God / who, by the way, is dead.”
She closes her laptop and goes to the bathroom. She pees, washes her hands, takes three THC tablets, and breaks open her safety razor. She takes the razor blade to the rooftop garden. The secret service guys nod. One of them points to the moon – it’s huge and low against the horizon.
She thinks about how someone at a campaign rally meet-and-greet thing for her second presidential run asked her to send someone to the moon again. He asked her why she was being such a pussy about the moon thing. She asked him if he wanted to go.
“Do you want to go? You can go. We can do it.” The guy looked worried and didn’t say anything. She shook his hand and smiled and leaned in close and said, “I’ll put you on the fucking moon and leave you there, you worthless piece of shit.” Someone caught it on tape and it became a whole thing. Her mother died the week she was inaugurated and at the funeral someone asked her about the moon thing and she started laughing because of how insane it all was.
She thinks about how stupid she feels and throws the safety razor blade into the garden below. She flips off the moon and laughs. One of the secret service guys laugh, too, but she’s unsure why.
Zac Smith is the author of 50 Barn Poems (Clash Books).