Photo by Leah Mueller
When my husband and I moved to Bisbee, we noticed the yellow fire hydrant in front of our new house sported a plastic Trump mask. Someone had used the elastic band to strap Donald’s face towards the street. His visage held a menacing, but vacant expression.
Russ recoiled instinctively from the spectacle, but I was amused. “What the hell?” my husband asked. “Why is there a Trump mask on our hydrant? Not funny.”
A door opened on the other side of the street, and a woman darted over. “Thank God you’re Bernie supporters!” she cried, gesturing towards the bumper sticker on our Toyota. “We’ve all been wondering who bought the house and hoping you wouldn’t be Trump voters.”
I pointed at the mask. “We noticed Donald was here to greet us.”
She grinned. “That’s for the dogs to piss on. Hey, if you get hungry, I’ve got several boxes of extra food at my house. Welcome to Bisbee. We all like to help each other.”
The mask remained in place for a week, staring at passing cars. One afternoon it disappeared. Russ seemed relieved, but I felt disappointed. Where the hell was Donald? I had grown accustomed to his face. The fire hydrant looked so bare and dull with him gone.
A few mornings later, Russ opened the front door, then shut it quickly. “That mask is on our porch. Something weird is going on. I don’t like it.”
I wandered outside. Sure enough, Donald rested on the top step, nestled between two flowerpots. A slight breeze tickled his chin, and he trembled. I felt more than a bit unsettled. Why the hell was Trump back in our lives? Did the neighbors secretly hate us?
My neighbor stood in her yard, watering her lawn. “Do you know why Trump is on our porch?” I asked. “He disappeared from the fire hydrant, but someone returned him.”
She shrugged. “It’s Bisbee. Weird shit happens all the time. The old owner put him on that hydrant months ago, as a joke. Someone probably thought he came with the house.”
I felt an immense surge of relief. “Some kids might’ve swiped the mask and their parents returned it.” Scooping Donald from the stoop, I wandered back into my house. I debated the possibility of returning the mask to the hydrant but decided against it. Trump would only disappear again, and then reappear like a bad case of bronchitis.
“Maybe I’ll wear this next Halloween,” I said, tossing the mask into the back of a closet. “That’s right before the election.”
“Go right ahead,” Russ replied. “I’m not touching that thing. Did you find out what happened?”
“Yeah,” I said. “It’s Bisbee.”
Leah Mueller is an Indie writer and spoken word performer from Bisbee, Arizona. She has published books with numerous small presses. Her most recent volumes, “Misguided Behavior, Tales of Poor Life Choices” (Czykmate Press), “Death and Heartbreak (Weasel Press), and “Cocktails at Denny’s (Alien Buddha Press) were released in 2019. Mueller’s work appears in Blunderbuss, Citron Review, The Spectacle, Miracle Monocle, Outlook Springs, Atticus Review, Your Impossible Voice, and other publications. She won honorable mention in the 2012 Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry contest.