Yesterday, thanks to an unexpectedly poetic would-be fluff piece from People Magazine, we received a hilarious, disconcerting gaze into the ironic life of Melania Trump.
In the piece, which nominally set out to cover Melania’s “listening session” with a group of middle-school students on Monday, a “tumbling water glass” became a sublime, literary metaphor for the Trump administration’s current state of chaos.
The piece began in the White House “Blue Room,” where the nearly life-like First Lady set up a large smart board on which the 13 children (a portentous number) would write down their “stories … thoughts … struggles and challenges.”
“I want to help children everywhere to be their best, so with your help, we can achieve positive results,” she told the middle schoolers, who had not realized upon signing up for this that the welfare of all children in America would be resting on their shoulders.
The People article then proceeded to share a haunting image of Melania’s dark, statuesque silhouette pausing in front of the illuminated smart board to read the middle-schooler’s responses — “responsible,” “nervous.” “My hair looks amazing today,” you could hear her think.
But then a wonderful thing happened. When the last middle-schooler stepped up to the smart board to share his own state of mind with the class (“energized”), he accidentally spilled the First Lady’s water glass onto the carpet.
“GASP,” he gasped, before Melania placed a reassuring hand on his shoulder, telling him, “No problem. Don’t worry. It’s just water, OK? No worry at all. It happens.”
BUT IT WASN’T JUST WATER.
Immediately after the listening session, news broke that FBI agents had raided the offices of President Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, who had recently admitted to paying $130,000 to adult-film actress Stormy Daniels.
Suddenly, this innocent glass of water had become a symbol for the collapsing Trump administration — a barely-cohesive set of molecules, held together only by surface tension, that had tumbled from its perch.
And through it all, Melania — who could be President Trump, who could be all of us — said, “No problem, don’t worry,” as the country around her burned to a crisp.