“The Police report this is NOT a terror-related incident”

I could see Fred was troubled.

“Uh oh, I know that look… what is it now?”

Fred glanced up from his laptop and raised one noisy eyebrow.  “Ordered a Donald Trump hat.”

The monitor lit up his corner of the common room. Three empty Pepsi cans and a delivery pizza, okay, this was bad.

“The red one?” I asked.


His head bent over the screen again and I wondered how to approach this.  I had a lot of shit to do today.

“Why?” I asked.

“Might get hung.”


“It’s basically the same thing.” He said.  He didn’t even look up.

I tried to put it all together without asking.  It was too early, I still had to charge my phone, and no one had started the coffee.  Marcus shuffled by in a silky white kimono, definitely not his, and I wondered who else was in the house.  We had to start keeping a list.

“Just tell me Fred.” I walked over to the couch and sat down.  Maybe Marcus would make the coffee.

He paused his music and looked up at me.  “We’re going on a road trip—


“Me and my mom.” He sighed.  “I started thinking and the more I thought about it the more I thought we’d probably get harassed at some point.”

I stared at him. “That’s kind of ridiculous.”

“Have you not seen the news?” he asked, incredulous.

“Yeah but, okay, I thought you weren’t scared of that kind of thing…” I ventured.

“My mom’s going.”

We sat there for a minute or two and I tried to picture Fred wearing the hat.

“You can’t wear that hat.”

He glared at me.  “Oh, so what, I’m supposed to stand up for the cause and die with my dignity in tact? You let me know how that works out…” He looked back down at the screen.

It suddenly dawned on me.  “Oh. My. God. Is that why that witch came by here yesterday?”

“Who? Vanessa?”

“No, Laura.”

“Oh yeah Laura, no, that was different.” He clicked open another Pepsi, where did he get that from, and pointed to the big calendar on the wall.  There was a bubble around Tuesday.  “Psychic’s comin’ on Tuesday.  She’s gonna talk to some angelic beings about it and stuff.”

I scratched my head. “Don’t you think you could be sending a message out into the universe, like focusing on it and bouncing back probability waves from the future and making it way more likely and shit?” I asked.

“That’s dumb.” He snapped down the lid to his computer.

“Wait, where do you buy a hat like that anyway?” I asked.

Just then, Marcus walked back through the common room, stopping to sift through a pile of laundry. He smoothed down the front of his kimono. “Hat like what?”

“Make America Great Again.” We both said.

“Huh.” He walked back out of the room.

Fred took a sip of his soda and burped.  “Wal-Mart. $6.99. Free Shipping. Got a little flag to shade the window too.  A tank top with a flag and an eagle bursting out.” He looked at me, one corner of his mouth turned up. “Don’t worry, I’m only gonna wear the hat in emergency situations.





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