And some months after that recital with the Dr and his mother, Marcus’ hands of flesh, so pliant when over the keys of the piano, those hands which have never touched Angel, he thought to himself with no little irony, were now held against this woman’s bosom. She was clad in gold, as she was seated there with studied poise. They both shared the settee, alone, somewhat removed from the party guests, in his mother’s home, in the one quiet corner away from the moiling action. The guests, in their formal attire, tended to remain loosely gathered around the stately black piano, with its lid open, which Marcus had played earlier, to their acclamation. The piano’s shadow grew longer as the afternoon progressed. And the darkness made its steady progress.
The golden light of the sun competed, even now, in its brilliance with the color of her dress, of this woman, who stole away from the crowd to talk to this man, Marcus, after the excitement of the performance had died down. She, in a posture of comforting, alongside Marcus, was also capable of complicity as could be seen in her face now. One could see the expressions change without hearing the words, and guess at their meaning, say, even from the vantage of where the guests generally stood, across the room, and with all this noise.
She, this woman with Marcus, would be the governor’s wife. And this is how they both had met for the first time, finally, despite the efforts of his mother.
Marcus could not avoid the cruel thought that had his father’s ambitions been more fruitful, his mother would have been this self-same woman in her thirties sitting beside him now. That his mother’s political ambitions had been hindered by his father, that he would hatch business ideas for the Bio-Tech corporation without follow-through, was a conclusion he found unavoidable now. His father’s manner was bumbling, as Marcus remembered him. He would have been more of an asset to her without the dreamy, blue sky mentality, the impractical endless quest that were more scientific curiosities than business propositions.
Without money, there are no Politicos. Were it not for that, the steady failings, there would have been beauty and power; both to be possessed at once, for his mother. -thought Marcus. But…
And, as it turns out, her name was Monika, this slender Slovakian woman with blue eyes of bliss that inspired confidence, and confidentiality, tainted with bitter cunning, when necessary. The bronze hair worn upright was a few shades removed from the color of amber.
The expanse of sun-ridden hardwood floors, resounded with the noise of the guests. The living room was more like an out-sized atrium, vast white walls and windows, with skylight, an echo, the cracking of another champagne cork, errant laughter belonging to a woman, somewhere, high-pitched, slightly durnk. There was moiling around the art hanging on the walls, approval, commentary.
The guests conversed animatedly. The servants carried silver trays with champagne. A side table near a wall in the foyer was overburdened with a large bouquet of Protea, magenta Orchids, platinum leaves of Eucalyptus, quaint sticks and twigs with moss. All this was from an ambitious florist no doubt wanting to maintain his business with this all-important client, a woman who entertained friends of the governor of California, no less. And, seated with Marcus was his wife.
Marcus and the woman continued to go unnoticed. Their gaze once locked now wandered. Monika let Marcus’ hands, encapsulated within her own, as it was briefly, finally fall to her golden lap. They faced each other once again, after his troubled thoughts had wandered and returned.
“You are in this now. Even with the little I told you, I have said too much. Perhaps it was a mistake telling you like this.” -said Monika.
And then she continued, somewhat as though scolding a stubborn child, “ You have no idea how much you mother did to get you this surgery.” Her eyes went to Marcus’ lap where his hands now rested.
At first she stopped herself, from saying what she intended to, but then she continued –
“Things don’t just automatically come together for that kind of procedure. It takes powerful people to make that happen. This is experimental to say the least. This accident is, if anything, another reason for you to accept the Senate seat. Where would you be now without the influence of you family? Besides, It is not often an opportunity like this comes along. If you want any kind of a life, first, you need power. It’s how one survives. ” She looked to his face again with this, searching for a specific response. Resolve? Commitment?
“Your secret is that you are a monster put together from parts taken from another’s tragedy. In politics, your secrets can make you an attractive investment. Everything boils down to a transaction. What’s unflattering must be kept hidden. An exchange can be made…” -she let this sink in. But, his expression was unwavering, newly hardened. “My husband can make your appointment happen. A sitting Senator has been appointed Secretary of State. And, someone must be appointed to finish out his term. The Governor can make that happen.” -and her face assumed an expression that was strangely, blasé. There was no other word for it. “The donor has been handsomely rewarded with the one thing that matters most in California, real estate. Land is everything, even in this day-and-age. Funny, what technology has failed to replace.” His gaze lowered with that.
It had never occurred to Marcus that politics played a part in his surgery, but, apparently it did. And is father’s dithering as well? The truth is, research can pay off, but never in the way one’s expects it to.
There were the people who could make things happen, and, then, there were all the rest. It was a stark realization for Marcus.
“Your contribution to the De Young was quite generous as well as thoughtful. It is a shame you couldn’t have been there. It would have been wonderful to meet you sooner.” -She said before getting up from the settee. And so began his career in politics.
Copyright Protected Work. All Rights Reserved. -by James Legare 3-20-17
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