A One Act Play
At center stage a woman and man face each other over a small kitchen table. The woman (the INTERVIEWER) can be of any age, race, or religion. The man (BARRON) is in his early 40s, but appears older and worn and is dressed in an oversized flannel plaid shirt, sweatpants, and white sneakers. There is a carpet rolled up at his feet.
The room is a quite low-end studio apartment complete with single bed, kitchen sink, stove, and a beaten old sound system standing against a dingy wall brightened only by a portrait of Barack Obama hanging on it.
INTERVIEWER: Thank you for agreeing to speak with us. I know that you rarely do this.
BARRON: Never. I never do this.
INTERVIEWER: Yes, well thank you. I’d like to begin with what may have been the most scarring episode of your young life when a college professor’s joke about you was aired in a publicly broadcast Congressional hearing into the impeachment of your father.
BARRON: What was the joke?
INTERVIEWER: You don’t recall?
BARON: I’ve tried to block out those days.
INTERVIEWER: Hmm. Really? Well, she said your father could name you Barron but not make you a baron.
BARON: I don’t get it.
INTERVIEWER: Well, you were only 13. There was considerable outrage that you were being dragged into your father’s political problems.
BARON: Ha! That’s a riot. He dragged us into his political problems the day he decided to take his sleazy behavior into public service.
INTERVIEWER: So you weren’t hurt by the professor’s attack?
BARON: You know my father referred to me as “her son”, don’t you? Once you’ve assimilated that bit of alienation into your life everything else is pretty much de nada.
INTERVIEWER: Okay. Speaking of your mother. Once you came of age, you took her maiden name as yours and became Barron Knauss. Why was that?
BARON: In a word: Shame.
INTERVIEWER: Care to elaborate?
BARRON: The name Trump was thoroughly trashed. He had turned it into a joke and universal synonym for fraud, incompetence and buffoonery. I may as well have gone through life with the name Asshole.
INTERVIEWER: Did you ever visit him in prison before he died?
BARRON: Oh, please.
(BARRON breaks into a gagging COUGH)
INTERVIEWER: You’ve been in poor health?
BARRON: For a long time. I started vaping when I was 13, and my parents did nothing to stop it. Surprise.
INTERVIEWER: I couldn’t help but notice that you have a picture of Barack Obama hanging over there. Why is that?
BARRON: He was very good to me. Kind and funny. We used to make Dreams of My Father/ Nightmare of My Father jokes.
INTERVIEWER: How did you two come together?
BARON: I reached out to him when I was 16. It was a typical teenager’s rebellion against a parent….like a kid who develops a love for music or art because his father hates them. My father hated Obama with the bottomless darkness of a thousand black holes. You could hear him late at night locked in his bathroom screaming into the mirror, “You think you’re better than me, Obama? You’re not better than me! You’re black. Worse. You’re half black. Your white mother fucked black cock. It’s a terrible thing she did. Terrible. You’ll never be better than me! Never…N-E-V-R! Never!”
INTERVIEWER: How were you able to get together with Obama without your father knowing about it?
BARRON: Are you kidding? Everyone around him was acting secretly. It was easy once you realized he only had eyes for himself.
INTERVIEWER: What about his friends and allies? Surely the fact that he had so many willing to publicly debase themselves out of fealty to him speaks to some degree of how he could inspire loyalty?
BARRON: Ahm, ring-ring…that’s Funk & Wagnalls calling. Inspire and loyalty want their meanings back. What did their loyalty get them? Or to put it Biblically: For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Mitch McConnell had a stroke that left him a drooling cretin after his wife helped the Feds uncover their corrupt financial holdings. Brett Kavanaugh drank himself to death. All the Freedom Caucus got genital herpes; Kevin McCarthy choked to death on his own swollen, black tongue. Rudy. (LOOKS TO THE FLOOR, SHAKES HEAD IN DISBELIEF, SHUDDERS AT THE THOUGHT, THEN LOOKS BACK TO INTERVIEWER) And Lindsey Graham…poor Lindsey. After his operation went bad he was left with what they called “weeping vagina” and couldn’t appear in public without looking as if he’d wet his dress. And you know of course that he petitioned the government to allow him conjugal visitation rights with my father. Even my old man, demented sex addict that he was, had enough sense left to just say no to that.
INTERVIEWER Can we talk about the rest of your family?
BARRON: Shoot…And with that I should probably start with oily brother Don Jr., caught en flagrant delecto with the wife of some mad MAGA hatter armed with an assault rifle. You can put that one down to Shakespeare level poetic justice.
INTERVIEWER: So you didn’t like him?
BARRON: Let’s say our relationship was very Cain and Abelish.
INTERVIEWER: And Eric?
BARRON: Sad case Eric. It’s a good thing Medicare for All provides for mental health coverage, otherwise I’m afraid he would’ve ended up living out of garbage cans on Fifth Avenue…and no one would care.
INTERVIEWER: Your sister…half-sister.
BARRON: Sorry. I don’t remember a Tiffany.
INTERVIEWER: But you remember Ivanka, don’t you?
BARRON: How can I not? She’s made such a public spectacle of herself going door-to-door trying to reunite the children our father who art in hell separated from their families and getting doors slammed in her face from California to the New York Island, from the Redwood forest to the gulf stream waters. This guilt was made for she and he. After Jared’s suicide she had to bear it alone of course. Sorry, sister.
INTERVIEWER: Can we talk about your mother?
BARRON: Now we can. I couldn’t for many years. It was too painful.
INTERVIEWER: How did you take her remarriage to that Russian oligarch?
BARRON: Well that was predictable. But when she gossiped about Putin at a Moscow cocktail party, and he had them both poisoned that really hurt. She was my mother after all, and the only one in the family I ever felt connected to.
(Suddenly the interview is interrupted by a prayerful song emitting from the speakers:)
Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!Ashhadu an la ilaha illa Allah. Ashhadu an la ilaha illa Allah.Ashadu anna Muhammadan Rasool Allah. Ashadu anna Muhammadan Rasool Allah.Hayya ‘ala-s-Salah. Hayya ‘ala-s-Salah.Hayya ‘ala-l-Falah. Hayya ‘ala-l-Falah.Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!La ilaha illa Allah.
INTERVIEWER (visibly baffled): What’s that?
BARRON (rising): Excuse me. That is my call to prayer.
INTERVIEWER: You’re Muslim?
BARRON (picking up the carpet at his feet and unrolling it at the foot of the stage) Yes, the kind couple that rents this apartment to me is Muslim. They converted me.
(BARRON, facing Mecca, kneels down on the carpet and bows his head in prayer.)
The Nobby Works Theater is Sponsored by Now Playing Black Panther