Literary Orphans

Phone Sex With a Trump Supporter by Clint Margrave

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Valerie had always been a sucker for working class white men. And Jason was not only white and working class, but also a fireman. A fireman who had a wife and kids, which meant she could never tell her parents. And a fireman who voted for Trump, which meant she could never tell her parents or her friends.

“Marriage isn’t for me,” he said, over the phone. “Too many regulations.”

“Me neither,” she said. “I guess some issues are still bipartisan.”

Since she’d moved to downtown L.A. a year ago, unable to walk the streets without feeling guilty about the homelessness, she’d started volunteering at a shelter.

“It turns me on that you did your fireman training on skid row,” she said.

“See?” Jason said. “We want the same things.”

“Do we?” she said. “What do you want?”

“I want to bring back coal,” he said. “I want to put people back to work again.”

“What else?”

“I want to build that wall,” he said. “What do you want?”

“I want to see those tax returns,” she said, moving her hand down between her legs. “I want to find out how much Russia was involved.”

“Oh yeah,” Jason said. She could hear the clicking of his belt through the receiver. “Tell me more.”

They’d known each other since high school. She had been surprised by his phone call, but not by his making contact. For the last few weeks, he’d been ramping up the “likes” on her Facebook posts. Except, of course, the political ones.

“You want to know the truth,” she said. “I’m heartbroken.”

“Get over it,” Jason said. “He’s already been in office 100 days.”

“Not that,” she said.

She explained there had been this guy, Luke, who she liked. He was dreamy, had his hair shaved on one side, a beard, tattoos. He opened the car door for her. They went hiking together. They both composted their kitchen scraps. Invested in SRI funds. Made monthly donations to Planned Parenthood and the ACLU. He even liked Father John Misty. But one night, they’d slept together after a show at Pappy and Harriet’s, and ever since he’d been sending her mixed messages.

“Maybe because you never smile in your pictures,” Jason said.

“That’s sexist,” she said, holding the phone between her shoulder and ear as she slipped her panties down a little further.

“I know.”

“Which is hot,” she told him. “Tell me more.”

“The wage gap,” he said. “It isn’t real.”

“Oh fireman,” she said. “Put me out.”

“The NEA is just welfare for liberal elites.”

“Oh my god,” she said, gripping the edge of her couch. “Misuse that privilege, baby. Grab that pussy.”

“You nasty woman,” Jason said. “My turn now.”

“Okay,” she said.

She noticed her phone battery was at 10%, so she moved over to her computer desk to plug it in.

“That whole time you pined over me in high school,” she said, “I was undocumented.”

“Oh my fucking god,” he said.

She could hear his rhythmic breathing speed up.

“For a long time I didn’t have a green card,” she said.

“That’s amazing,” he said. “Keep going.”

“My parents snuck over the border when I was nine,” she said.

“Can’t. Hold. Out,” Jason said.

“Resist,” she said.

She scanned his Facebook profile on her laptop as they talked, clicking through his photos, stopping on one of his wife.

“If you were never really into it, why are you with her?” Valerie asked.

“Sometimes you have to settle,” Jason said.

“Those emails,” she said.

“Oh those fucking emails,” he said, breathing heavily.

She imagined his wife walking in on him and catching them in the act. What would you call someone having phone sex with the father of your kids? A phone-wrecker?

“Aren’t you worried about taking such a big risk?” she said.

“You mean about the nuclear codes?” Jason said.

“I mean about your wife.”

His breathing slowed a little.

“You know you’ve always been my ‘what if,’ right?” he said.

“I have?”

“Yeah,” he said. “Like Bernie.”
“Oh fuck,” she said, her body tingling all over. “Say that again.”

“You know you’ve always been my —”

“No, not that, the other part…”

“Like Bernie.”

“Oh. My. God,” she said.

The minute she came, she thought of the other pictures on his profile. The two little blonde boys. The whole family at Disneyland last summer.

“I feel bad,” she said, moving her hand away from between her legs. “Don’t you feel bad?”

“About what?” he said. “About this?”

“No,” she said. “About the Syrian refugees.”

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Clint Margrave is the author of Salute the Wreckage (2016) and The Early Death of Men (2012), both published by NYQ Books. His stories and poems have also appeared in The New York Quarterly, Rattle, Cimarron Review, Word Riot, 3AM, Bartleby Snopes, decomP, Ambit (UK), as well as in the recent LA Fiction Anthology: Southland Stories by Southland Writers by Red Hen Press. He lives in Los Angeles, CA.

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–Background Art by Milton G. (Paradise Found)

–Foreground Art by Xavier (abstrkt.ch)