Trump Sky Alpha, the rigid airship that docked on the roof of the White House and the roof of Trump Tower, a thousand-foot vessel from the bridge of which Trump delivered streaming YouTube addresses every Wednesday, DC to New York, and every Sunday, New York to DC, the ultra-luxury Zeppelin – ‘Crystal Palace of the Sky’ – on which the 224 seats (‘Luxury berths in an Open Loge Style’) went for a starting price of 450,000, a figure that jumped with the addition of various ultra-deluxe packages and enhancements, ‘Diamond’ and ‘Diamond Troika Elite’ tiers, four figures for the ‘Ten-Star Double Platinum Seafood’, ‘certified eight-pound’ lobsters with trump embossed on tail fin and right claw, wine pairings offered by the animated ‘Founding Foodie’ Ben Franklin on touchscreen, Franklin adjusting spectacles and cataloging flights of Trump Wine (‘An Exquisite Taste of Trump’), the Feu de Cheminée and the Blanc de Blanc de la plus Blanc, the final bill after disembarkment running to twenty pages or more of often obscure fees and surcharges, bag fees and negative weather clemency credits and per-use charges on the ergonomic loge controls – every seat adjustment noted by the system and itemized – the seats arranged in an oblong spiral that looped the transparent floor six times, the entire body of the aircraft constructed from a revolutionary transparent membrane stretched over a skeleton of moth-white aluminum, seats facing inward, amphitheater-style, and at the center a circular bridge of bulletproof glass, the views from all 224 seats opening vertiginously onto the National Mall or Central Park and Midtown as the craft lifted off, offering a ‘pristine God’s-eye view of our Great Nation’, seats sliding backward on mobile tracks, while a system of giant claws and pulleys yanked other seats up overhead and moved them forward, closer to Trump, the price of your enhancement package determining how far up you went, a leapfrog of one or ten seats, the ‘Troika’ or ‘Triple-Star Emerald Troika’ or ‘Deca-Diamond Troika Extreme’, the last of which, for a modulating price somewhere in the seven figures, placing you at Position #1, which you would then enjoy for a minute or an hour until someone else ordered it, everyone knocked back one position, chairs almost continuously moving backward on a track on the floor, clacking against each other, so Trump’s words were overlaid with big echoing vibrations like huge skee balls loading and sharp but stifled human gasps as giant claws snatched the next upgrader, seats whooshing overhead, at any given moment eight or ten or twelve seats zipping around unpredictably above, the transparent floor provoking a certain amount of nervous loge-adjustment as Trump spoke (each adjustment itemized), big spenders with corporate or government sponsors taking their turn up front as Trump gives his twice-weekly address at the helm of the Zeppelin, or if not the big spenders themselves then stand-ins the sponsors had hired, attractive actors filling in for company executives after earlier accidents and threats and attacks, Monsanto or McKesson or Chevron stitched prominently but tastefully on their suits or dresses, Trump’s hands on and then off the wheel as he gestures during his live-streamed address, seeming to float at the center of the craft, unleashing all the old familiar gestures, the little pointy duck bill, the poke, the palms-out ‘stop’ that would flow into a second gesture, fingers still fanned but palms turning in to face each other and then squeezing in and out as though meeting a resistant force, a crazy horizontal spring, Trump grimacing with the effort, elbows pinching into his waist, whole body contorting at the sheer ridiculousness of whatever enemy he was describing, Trump putting his rubberized face – by turns frog-lipped and hemorrhoidal, pig- and pop-eyed – through its paces, an array of comical disapprovals, hands resting now and then on the big gold-spoked wheel that at times seemed in his power and at others appeared to turn of its own accord, Trump almost floating there in the sky, drawing no salary, wholly removed from the business side of the Trump Organization and Trump Sky Alpha for the duration of his presidency – but he could still fly in it, couldn’t he? you’re not saying that’s illegal? – the whole bridge rotating behind its circular glass wall, making 360-degree rotations every four minutes, Trump turning and turning as Trump Sky Alpha twice a week made stately progress, warping the clouds and sky behind, above it a massive American flag with Trump’s face superimposed, squinting and grinning, the flag itself animated LED-enabled fabric, mirroring Trump’s expressions via real-time video capture, the highways and port cities of the eastern seaboard spread out below, Trump rotating and raising a fist, his voice filling the craft, Trump interrupting his own extemporaneous thoughts on the events of the past week to point or wink at a chair that had moved to the front (‘We’ve got Walmart coming up, looks like Ford right behind, try the surf and turf, it’s really fabulous!’) while several copilots and a whole team of staffers and security personnel and military folks worked in a concealed bay in the aft, a white opaque bay that was markedly empty tonight, no copilot, no staff, no passengers, Trump Sky Alpha tonight tearing its moorings from the White House roof, shocking the military and Secret Service and the White House staffers who milled about on the ground (even Trump’s private security caught flat-footed), staffers and military and members of the deep state who had told the president again and again that day, all day long, that under the extraordinary circumstances unfolding around the world, the nuclear attacks, the hundreds or thousands of ongoing conflicts, the millions or tens of millions already dead, Trump would absolutely not be permitted to fly Trump Sky Alpha, Mr President, we can get you into a bunker with full communication equipment and you can give your address there, you just can’t do it in a goddamn plastic blimp at the start of World War III.
Trump Sky Alpha
State of Mind
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Barbara J Zitwer, Linda Coverdale, Elham Manea, Colm Tóibín, Anne Landsman, Kyung-sook Shin
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