CELL PHONE NOISE

“Jesus wept. And then cursed me. Jesus wept and cursed me, and I know not why. Hello?”

“Maggie, sweetheart, how are you? How’s your mother?’

“It’s three in the morning, Senator Schumer.”

“Morning, shmorning. You’re my favorite yenta.”

“I know what that means.”

“Congratulations. Are you hungry? I’ll send over some pastries?”

“Senator, why are you calling me?”

“Well, I was just wondering something.”

“Yes?”

“You got any idea what the fuck happened today?”

“Not a clue.”

“I was in the room and I got no idea. C’mon, Maggeleh–”

“Don’t call me that.”

“–I know you’re tight with those crazy people over there. What’s the word from the White House?”

“What’s in it for me?”

“From me? Bupkes. From an unnamed aide briefed on today’s meeting? The president thinks the debt ceiling is an actual ceiling.”

“Like, the underside of a roof?”

“Yeah. A ceiling. The schmuck says, “While we’re raising the debt ceiling, why don’t we do some improvements? Paint it?’ Swear to you. Me and Pelosi laugh like he’s telling a joke. He keeps going. ‘Maybe we could add a chandelier.’ Guess what he did next.”

“Pulled out the electoral map.”

“Such a smart girl.”

“I am a 43-year-old woman, Senator.”

“Good for you. Now tell me what’s happening over there.”

“Chaos.”

“I knew that.”

“No, more than normal. Like: chaotic by Trump Administration standards. He didn’t tell anyone he was going to agree to a three-month extension. Jonathan Winters never ad-libbed like this.”

“You should’ve seen Paul Ryan’s little goyische punim. The boy was just shattered.”

“And McConnell?”

“He looked like a turtle.”

“Sure.”

“You don’t understand how quickly it went down. I didn’t finish my sentence. ‘How about three months, Mister…’ and he says ‘Yes.’ I mean, he didn’t say ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘Chuck this is the best deal, a really beautiful deal, that many, many people are comparing to the New Deal.'”

“Did he do the hand thing?”

“Does he ever not do the hand thing?”

“True.”

“Mnuchin looked like he’d been slapped. And not with a hand. With a shmeckle. Pardon my French.”

“Don’t worry about it.”

“Tears. Tears were pooling in the man’s eyes. Never seen anything like it. Honestly, I wish I had gone for more stuff.”

“Like DACA?”

“DACA? I think I could’ve gotten him to buy a time share. Man’s desperate, Maggeleh.”

“Stop that.”

“In all seriousness, I hope that today’s agreement ushers in a new era of the Trump presidency: one of cooperation, collaboration, and compromise, and that both parties can put past differences aside and move the country forward in a bipartHAHAHAHA.”

“Couldn’t hold it in, Senator?”

“I’ve had a few cocktails. Holy shit, are we gonna shiv the cocksucker with this. He didn’t hand us a sword, he built us a sword factory. Maggie, answer me a question. What’s three months from now?”

“The holidays.”

“I’m gonna make that gonif shut down the government for Christmas.”

“Of course you are. How did Pelosi take it?”

“I think she was happy. Who can tell with that face of hers?”

“You’re just as bad as the rest of them.”

“You didn’t know that?

“Good night, Senator.”

“Zay gezunt.”