Hello class. It has been a long time since we've been able to hold lecture because of the dean. However, we are now back in session with this very deep work I have produced. It will force you to make deeper analyses than you ever have before. I expect great work from all of you.
The seemingly endless camera lights flashed in Yuri's eyes. He was shaking the wrinkled yet smooth hand of Martin Sheen as President Bartlet in the oval office. "Congratulations on destroying homophobia in Japan and Russia," he said. Vice President Hoynes and Victor stood behind them with their hands behind their backs, Hoynes's plastic smile a contrast to Victor's genuine admiration for his husband-to-be.
"Th-thank you," Yuri stammered. "It's such an honour to be here. Washington is very different from Detroit."
As President Bartlet, Martin Sheen laughed. "And very different from New Hampshire. That's where I'm from. And let me tell you, I still will never accept maple syrup from anywhere but my home state."
As all of this happened, Josh looked on, hiding his forlorn feelings beneath the mask of a west wing staffer. Although he was not known for hiding his contempt, let alone having tact, there were some situations where he could muster whatever manners he had learned from CJ. There was a tugging at his heart that he couldn't place when he saw the glint of Yuri's gold engagement ring.
Josh had been in committed relationships before, so he knew it wasn't jealousy. Well, it couldn't be, right? He was straight. Right?
Donna swished into the room and shoved a styrofoam cup into Josh's hands, breaking him out of his trance. "Your coffee," she said.
"I asked for coffee?" Josh inquired.
"You did. Three minutes ago." She rolled her eyes. "So don't pretend that this is like when you almost got fired and I brought you some out of sympathy." She was referring to the West Wing pilot episode, 1x01, where Josh almost got fired.
Phichit was there, too, recently hired by Leo as his new assistant. He was already forming a friendship with Charlie. Phichit got the job after Leo's divorce; Leo had been lonely and needed to cover up his emotional affair with Martin Sheen as President Bartlet. Phichit helped them hide it from the press. Dr. Phil would say that it didn't count as a real affair if there was no physical contact, but they wanted to be safe, not sorry.
"Hey, Charlie," Phichit said, and they left.
Back to Josh, though. Josh thanked Donna and left the room before he had to face whatever emotions Yuri and Victor's engagement had stirred up inside of him.
However, that plan didn't quite work out when he bumped into...Sam. The exact person he had been trying not to think about ever since the skaters' arrival. "Hey Josh," Sam said, sounding surprised. "You aren't watching the ceremony?"
"Nah," Josh said, heaving a sigh. "I have a lot of work to do. As always."
But before he could escape to his office, gasps and screams broke out from within the oval office. Josh and Sam looked at each other, and then bolted over to investigate the commotion.
Yuri had broken his leg. "Oh no," Charlie said, "what are we going to do about the pair skate now?!"
"What pair skate?" Josh asked.
"Yuri and Victor were going to skate for us next week," Leo said. "Don't you remember? Now we'll have to find replacements."
"We can't just cancel the event?" CJ said.
"Shut up, CJ! You work with the press. You know we can't just cancel it!" Toby said.
"Maybe I can help," Sam said quietly. Everyone in the room turned to look at him. Yuri tried his best to look too but couldn't really because he was still on the ground, writhing in pain. "In my youth, I used to figure skate."
"I won't skate without Yuri!" Victor cried.
"So I'll skate with someone else," Sam said. "Another man. Someone who I can easily lift. Someone like…" He turned to look at Josh. "You, Josh."
"ME?!" Josh screamed. "I dunno how to skate!"
"Then I'll be your coach!" Celestino said. Everybody gasped. How did he get inside the White House?! The window was open behind him, the cold winter air gusting in.
"Who are you?!" Josh asked.
"Only the best coach in the land," Victor said, in awe. "I can't believe he wants to coach yoU!"
Josh sank to his knees. What was he going to do?! He wanted to help but was he really the best candidate? And was he ready to be so close...to Sam?
"Meanwhile, Victor and Yuri can replace your jobs in the west wing," Leo said. Martin Sheen as President Bartlet nodded in approval and got out his familial vape rig. Yuri nodded too and then clutched his leg again.
Victor laughed. "How funny that things would turn out like this!"
TO BE CONTINUED…..
Please analyze the following questions class. They're due in next week's tutorial.
1. How do you think homophobia still existing in the United States will affect the characters' interactions?
2. What is the symbolism of Yuri's broken leg in terms of US-Japanese relations?