Jared Kushner Texts at Church

With all the angels watching.

Image: Patricia Feaster

The TRUMP ADMINISTRATION is attending Mass before they leave Europe. POPE FRANCIS is finishing up his homily about how he can’t think of a less Catholic family than the Trumps. IVANKA is smiling and wondering how hard it really could be to convince a billion people to care about the bullshit you are selling. JARED is not smiling, but he is thinking about how satisfying it sometimes can be to accomplish simple tasks like pumping a car with gas, or taking a tenant to small claims court for minor property damage or completing a mandatory compliance training at work.

JARED [fidgeting in his pew, nervously]: I still have to do those mandatory HR trainings. One’s for harassment prevention and one is for like bullying in the workplace. Do you think I could access them on my phone here?

IVANKA [leaning in]: Every interaction you have with a female isn’t an opportunity to be mothered.

JARED [afraid]: You’re my wife though?

IVANKA [powerfully]: I don’t know where the training is. Ask Kellyanne. Better yet. We’re in St. Peter’s Basilica. Say a prayer the FBI doesn’t have the recordings of —

[JARED’s phone vibrates. It’s his brother JOSH commenting on his recent MyFitnessPal inactivity.]

JOSH [via MyFitnessPal app]: I noticed you haven’t logged any meals today. You ok, bro bro?

JARED [via MyFitnessPal app]: I’m in the Vatican. I’m doing some weird fast thing with the other Catholics on the trip. They won’t eat before they receive Communion or something.

JOSH [via text messaging]: Message me here, dummy. Fucking cathies.

JARED [liking JOSH’s comment, “fucking cathies”]: I’m effing starving.

JOSH: Nah, you’re probably just thirsty. Get some of that weird g-d water before it’s turned into wine lol.

JARED: Why do people always say I’m probably just thirsty when I say I am hungry?

[POPE FRANCIS invites poor people and MELANIA to the altar. He washes their feet and they all joke about how terrible everything on Earth is now and how disgusting TRUMP is.]

JOSH: Because you’re weak. You, need, like, a trigger warning for when Steph Curry effs around with his mouth guard.

JARED: Cavs in 7 btw.

JOSH: Omgggg no

JARED: Yeah jk. I have to say that because I think we won Ohio.

JOSH: Who the eff is we? The only thing keeping me from getting Lebron to run for Governor of the state of Ohio is knowing that defeating Kasich would make your father-in-law kind of happy. And why are you at a church with them? Does mom know?

POPE FRANCIS [to the congregation]: I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, creator of Heaven and Earth.

JARED [crossing his fingers with one hand and typing to JOSH with the other]: Did you see what we are wearing? It’s like we’re sitting shiva at the Olive Garden.

[POPE FRANCIS says something about Jesus’s blood and JARED feels faint. When he regains his bearings, JARED remembers hosting a blood drive his senior year of high school. It was literally the only thing on his Harvard application. The National Honor Society had hosted theirs a week earlier but a guidance counselor called a bunch of nurses and finagled another drive, so Jared could organize it and write a personal statement about the experience. The hospitals in Bergen County must’ve had so much blood that month, JARED thought.

STEVE BANNON enters and the building somehow does not crumble. He is yelling that Europe is a Christendom. Everyone, including POPE FRANCIS, shushes BANNON.]

STEVE BANNON [obstinately, because he hates being shushed]: And I fucking love that about Europe.

[STEVE BANNON takes his seat in the pew in front of JARED and IVANKA but first pisses in the holy water even nuns know not to bless themselves with. He says “beep beep” to KELLYANNE CONWAY so she makes room, as he glares at JARED who is still messaging his brother via MyFitnessPal.]

JARED [to JOSH, via MyFitnessPal app, again]: Ugh, Steve is here.

JOSH [via text messaging]: You’re a mess. Text me here. Look at your fucking life. Go for a run.

STEVE BANNON [staring directly at JARED]: Normally I would report people using their phones in Church to my friends at Opus Dei. [STEVE BANNON removes his phone from his cargo pocket and shares a meme of what baggage handlers do to your luggage at airport, except the meme says ‘they’ instead of ‘baggage handlers.’ He was late to Mass because he was editing the footage in his hotel room where he knew he would have the strongest wifi signal.] But, as they say, when in Rome.

POPE FRANCIS [clearing his throat, but not expecting much from this group]: Take this, all of you, and eat it.

JARED [via MyFitnessPal app]: brb I think they’re getting to the dinner part?

STEVE BANNON [reaching his back to rub it, and then hurting his back even more]: My back is fucking killing me. Can you hurry up and get to the wine part? [STEVE BANNON googles his symptoms.] I either have diabetes or something really bad.

KELLYANNE CONWAY [whispering quietly, hoping to least appear pious to POPE FRANCIS]: You don’t already have diabetes?

STEVE BANNON: I haven’t been to a doctor since they forced Ronald Reagan to acknowledge AIDS. [STEVE BANNON stretches all the way around in his seat, so his hot breath reaches JARED, who winces.] Hey Jacob. I saw the story in the Times Magazine about how you’re a slumlord in Baltimore. Jesus fucking Christ. I knew you were a wuss but are you also LARPing a lost season of the Wire?

POPE FRANCIS [raising a cup, but wanting to chuck it at the TRUMP ADMINISTRATION]: This is the chalice of my blood, the blood of the new and eternal covenant, which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.

[JARED looks to IVANKA for help but she is reading customer reviews of her book, a bestseller.]

KELLYANNE CONWAY [now using her full-volume, Anderson Cooper-interview voice, but slurred with fewer mood stabilizers because she has been fasting]: You know, Jared, when the MSM profiles me, I am framed as a harried working mother who can do it all.

IVANKA [inflating her book’s Amazon rating and ranking, by creating fake user accounts like STEVE BANNON showed her]: It wasn’t a profile of him.

JARED and STEVE BANNON [for once, in unison]: It was a full-scale investigative report.

KELLYANNE CONWAY [googling furiously for the article]: Wait. Like the investigation?

[Meanwhile, TRUMP is receiving Communion. POPE FRANCIS looks up at the image of God painted on the ceiling and, in Spanish, negotiates that while he knows he is moving things a little fast here on Earth, he’d be willing to advocate redistributing only some of the wealth, if God could please please please smite the TRUMPS on a silly technicality, like using mobile devices in Church.]

KELLYANNE CONWAY [loading the article on her phone]: By the way, we need a name for the investigation. [She opens her Notes app and types, portmanteau of Jared plus treason?] Like only to use internally, I mean.

[The floor of the basilica splits open but none of the TRUMP ADMINISTRATION falls into Hell because this is real life and not a Christian allegory. SEAN SPICER group messages the staff, safe in their pews, to please pick him up a Church bulletin, and everyone deletes his text simultaneously.]