“Olivia Cachet Marcel;” a now familiar reprise in my search for understanding. Motherwas English; “Poppa” endowed strong F...
She would always say, “My dear Olivia, you should be as fortunate as I when the dayarrives bringing the culture of true lo...
I came along on February 28, 1940. Mother has always been vague as to whether I wasplanned or unplanned. She only admits P...
Mother said Poppa was able to become a Concierge at the Waldorf hotel in short order.However, she decided to stay home and...
Growing Up in New York           I was fortunate growing up in a bilingual home; I learned both English and French. Theodd...
The Family Tragedy           Mother and Poppa had left New York on a four day trip to Chicago to visit with friendswho had...
Jacques and Alaina          The friends my parents had visited in Chicago that now fateful December were JacquesNoelle and...
Le Monde represented post-war French independence. General de Gaulle hadpersonally requested Monsieur Beuve-Méry manage th...
Settling Down in Paris            Hubert offered me the rental of a Le Monde owned apartment; he allowed me a sixmonth‟s l...
The New Le Monde Reporter           On my first day at Le Monde Hubert wanted me to get to know my editor, FrancescaYvette...
My First Assignment           That assignment came as September turned into October 1962. During that month, TheBeatles re...
The assignment was spelt out in plain French: I was to “cover an academic presentationto be held at the Paris School of Th...
A few more minutes aided my resuscitation. I reached for the rest of the documentswhilst his eyes watched me the whole tim...
I concentrated. I wanted to understand the nature of the professor‟s preeminence.“Professor, Department of Economics, Bene...
The Paris Faculty on Theology press invitation indicated I was invited to participate in alimited number of functions invo...
Those eyes; I found myself surrendering once again. It was as if the photo was taken formy preeminent pleasure. “Olivia! Y...
The exposed fair complexion would be adorned with a strand of Mother‟s Mikimotopearls. After all, my sense of glamour and ...
The First Day            Wednesday became Thursday; and, Thursday turned into Friday morning. I started theday by sipping ...
I carefully applied my base; subtle rouge writing the sparkles of Heaven‟s Kisses(Mother‟s term) here and there left my fa...
I arrived at 6:45 p.m. and ascended the Sorbonne entry steps. I presented my presscredentials to the doorman. Allowing my ...
Professor Jones was not only an excellent speaker but his academic persuasion was wellreasoned; his command unassailable. ...
The Second Day            The next morning, the telephone again rang Hubert‟s directorial, but supportive,conversation. Wh...
In preparation for today‟s lecture, I had accomplished some research on Pythagoras andthe Pythagorean School. I was unable...
The make-up ritual remained unchanged from the evening before with one slight exception.Today‟s afternoon affair counseled...
The Great Hall of the Paris Faculty of Theology had undergone a moderatetransformation since my departure the evening just...
Akin to Poe‟s Tell-Tale Heart, titillation began to peer through my white cottonundergarments; so much for that inventive ...
I briefly explained how a family friend introduced me to Monsieur Beuve-Méry, LeMonde’s Director. Of course, he interrupte...
“That sounds like a lot of fun, Malachi!” I supplanted with adoring interest. “Hubert!”my soul quietly pled, “Veuillez, mo...
While the audience sat dazed by the barrage of numerical analyses, the Paris Faculty ofTheology‟s purpose in prohibiting p...
I considered my proprietary investigation as I made my way between Egyptian cottonsheets. There was a marked cotton contra...
I considered further that there must be a coalescing of interests. That is, Professor Jonesand the Paris Faculty on Theolo...
I quickly scribed essential questions knowing I would put personal interests aside tothoroughly cross-examine the unwittin...
My hair was fashioned by a tortoise shell clip exposing my right ear. I allowed slightbrunette waves to slightly decorate ...
I decided against stockings this evening; my cleanly shaven shapely legs would announcemy confidence before my first spoke...
His lecture began. He underscored his decipherment of ordered conflict resolution asscripture‟s most important secret now ...
My turn arrived. I stood and looked him directly in the eye. His smile, I surmised, wasintended to make me stumble through...
I carefully enquired, “Is it your belief that the firing of a tenured professor at BenedictineCollege, a long established ...
The vodka settled a convalescing friend. I was warmed; reminded of the nude auditionthat followed my perfumed bath. The fr...
The supper bell rang. Everyone found their assigned chair. Mine was situated betweentwo faculty members, both males. Mothe...
I revisited Malachi’s unending stares during the cocktail hour; the way they heated mypassion for loving beyond reproach. ...
The very thought of Malachi staring at my lips suddenly deflated the humor. Thethought of saying good-bye to him tonight w...
With those words, a flurry of chairs scooted back and the audience collectively rose,gathered their things, and fashioned ...
It seemed several moments transpired; as if timekeeping be an unnecessary regimen.Then consciousness beset the spirit lost...
The only matter of consequence was clear. I continued kissing lips. I consumed hismasculine breath caressing my breasts, s...
My Blueberry wrapped my frame and kept me protected from the Parisian morning windas I exited the taxi at the entry to Le ...
He began by saying, “Olivia, if you will hear me out, I am quite confident you will realizeyour parents would be quite pro...
Hubert continued, “I asked Francesca to give you this particular assignment. YourPoppa and all of his followers, including...
Hubert admonished his conclusion uncertain: “Be assured, my dear Olivia, the souls ofyour parents would never allow any im...
Finale           The article was printed, as Hubert promised, on Sunday, October 21, 1962. It was thebanner article in Le ...
I then considered how fortunate it was that I learned ballroom dance at The Brearley. Ihadn‟t shared that tidbit with Mala...
Olivia Cachet Marcel
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Olivia Cachet Marcel

496 views
433 views

Published on

A story about a French girl's quest for love.

Published in: Entertainment & Humor, Travel
1 Comment
1 Like
Statistics
Notes
  • I'm ancient; she was young and beautiful. One night while I was bartending an event at the Tucson Museum of Art, she came up to me, through her arm around my neck, and kissed me good night. Admittedly, she certainly knew I was attracted to her, though matters ended before I could actually date her. I was so inspired by her choice to boldly proclaim affection amidst her peer group that I wanted to celebrate by returning the love. That's how I began writing short stories. My first is titled 'Molly Marie Boudoir,' written for the same girl. It was written in the male voice and set in the old west, thereby implicating my ancient carcass. Olivia Cachet Marcel is written in the female voice (my first attempt) and set in more modern times, thereby implicating her end of the May - December thing. She liked Molly, but apparently didn't like Olivia. I received kudos for Molly but got my ass kicked out the door after she received Olivia. I still feel the loss of not dating her.
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
No Downloads
Views
Total views
496
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
10
Comments
1
Likes
1
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Olivia Cachet Marcel

  1. 1. “Olivia Cachet Marcel;” a now familiar reprise in my search for understanding. Motherwas English; “Poppa” endowed strong French roots. Her name was Elizabeth Louise Fullerton.She was from Haversham, a village in the Borough of Milton Keynes; ceremonialBuckinghamshire, England its countryside host. It is located north-northwest from London. That‟sabout, oh, an hour to an hour and a half drive depending on traffic. His name was Henri Michel Marcel. He was from Marseilles. “Marseille est situé lelong de la côte sud-est de la France, sur la mer Méditerranée," remained Poppa‟s now familiarcounsel. That is, Marseilles is located along the southeast coast of France on the MediterraneanSea. It‟s about an hour and a half flight south-southeast of Paris.Mother and Poppa‟s Romance Mother and Poppa met pre-war while both were on vacation at the Hôtel Belle Rives,which is located in Juan-les-Pins. Juan-les-Pins, commune of Antibes, is located in the Alps-Maritimes department of southeastern France along the Côte dAzur. The Côte dAzur is morecommonly known as the French Riviera. The hotel was the former residence of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. It was converted in1929 by Russian-born Boma Estène and his wife Simone when they bought the property andturned it into the Hôtel Belle Rives. By the late 1930s, the hotel had become a luxury romanticwith frescoed ceiling, Terrazzo alla Veneziana floors and three large bronze and alabasterchandeliers; the perfect ambience for love unfolding. That‟s exactly what happened to my parents;at least the way Mother told the story. 2
  2. 2. She would always say, “My dear Olivia, you should be as fortunate as I when the dayarrives bringing the culture of true love to your door.” Then she would recount how Poppa heldher in his arms as they danced their introductory night together under a starry summer sky. “Atonce,” she would say, “his dancer‟s embrace was strong and loving.” She then recounted how she could “see the future in his eyes and not a momentary lustreflecting.” As her Mother counseled her, “Elizabeth, it is not difficult to distinguish when a manwants all of your nights rather than just one of your nights. You will see it in his eyes and know it byhis touch. Importantly, when it is right it will seem his breath becomes one with your own.” “Gran Mama was right, Olivia” Mother continued preaching. For their day, I come froma progressive female lineage. I must admit as much; it is the truth. Although they planned to live in Paris after their nuptials, Poppa married Mother onJune 4, 1938 at St. Mary‟s church, located on High Street in Haversham. The church has roots tothe late 12th century. Its historic presence would soon raise my parents‟ marriage in its shadow. Right before their marriage, Mother received a faculty appointment to the University ofParis, commonly referred to as the Sorbonne. She joined the Paris Faculty on Theology. Motherhad received her Doctor of Philosophy degree from Oxford University with an emphasis inHistorical Christian Musicology. This fact and her compositional accomplishments proved to beher entry ticket into that exclusive male society. That is, Mother was the only woman on the ParisFaculty of Theology; and, she wasn‟t even French! Following their honeymoon soirée to the White Cliffs of Dover, Poppa returned to hisjob as Chef Concierge at the Hôtel Ritz Paris. It is located in the heart of Paris at 15 PlaceVendôme. It is one of the most luxurious and prestigious hotels in the world and has been sincethe late 19th century. 3
  3. 3. I came along on February 28, 1940. Mother has always been vague as to whether I wasplanned or unplanned. She only admits Poppa„s passionate nature never left her wanting or alone.The Trail to America Shortly after my birth, however, Mother worried about the state of affairs in France. TheGermans invaded Paris in June 1940. Mother always tells the story how Poppa confronted theGerman officers when they tried to besiege the hotel‟s young maidens. “Poppa,” she said in asolemn voice, “was adamant the German officers would treat those women as ladies and seek theirmalevolent ways elsewhere.” “Poppa was the bravest man at the hotel,” she concluded. “As aresult,” Mother acknowledged, “all the hotel‟s workers looked up to Poppa. He was their leader.” As Mother tells the story, by October 1940, however, Poppa realized he had tested theGerman officers‟ mettle perhaps more stringently than was good for his family. He learned thesenior officer was enquiring where Poppa lived, whether he was married, and whether he hadchildren. On an alleged vacation trip to Marseilles to visit Poppa‟s only brother and his family,Poppa arranged passage on a yacht to Tangier; and from there, by train to Casablanca. From there,as Mother laments, freighter passage to the United States under a Moroccan flag took six days time.She said the accommodations were somewhat primitive and rough; Poppa bribed the ship‟s captainto provide us his cabin. However, Poppa failed to pay enough to insure the cabin was clean. We immigrated through Ellis Island as war refugees. Mother says we came to settle inNew York and never intended to settle elsewhere in America. Poppa had heard many Hôtel RitzParis patrons talk about great hotels in New York, particularly The Waldorf-Astoria. It is the onebuilt on Park Avenue; not the one on Fifth Avenue demolished to make way for the tallest building 4in the world.
  4. 4. Mother said Poppa was able to become a Concierge at the Waldorf hotel in short order.However, she decided to stay home and take care of me, ensuring my health against the travailssuch rigorous travel conditions might leave behind. By 1943, Mother desired to return to academia. She joined the Department of Musicfaculty at Columbia University; contributing significantly to its Music Humanities curriculum. Thatechoes the interesting contrast between my parents. Poppa is mundane and satisfies the banalcuriosities of his patrons. Mother, on the other hand, is cerebral; the family‟s creative talent.Though their spectral differences were not reconcilable, Mother never loved another man; Poppanever held another woman in his arms. Those are the memories that create a sanctuary for a younglady growing up in the hustle and bustle of New York; a city that overtly or covertly caters to allman‟s depravities. My parents were somewhat affluent, both by heritage and by their own making. Poppaalways insisted regular savings ensured the family‟s future against despair. As a result, when wemoved to New York, we lived in a fashionable neighborhood on the Upper West Side ofManhattan at 72nd Street and Central Park West. Mother said they decided to take an apartment in the building because its stronginfluence of French architectural trends appeased Poppa‟s temperament. Mother made salient thebuildings high gables and deep roofs with a profusion of dormers, and terracotta spandrels gave it aNorth German Renaissance character; a quality glossed over by Poppa‟s French demands. We allseemed happy. I was most happy because Central Park was across the street. The subway was close for both Mother and Poppa‟s convenience. Mother commuted toColumbia via the Eighth Avenue Line. Columbia‟s subway stop was the Cathedral Parkway Stationat 110th Street; a mere 40 blocks or so north from our apartment. Poppa also rode the EighthAvenue Line, but in the other direction. He had to transfer to the E train, which took him to 51st5Street and Lexington Avenue; a mere two blocks from the Waldorf.
  5. 5. Growing Up in New York I was fortunate growing up in a bilingual home; I learned both English and French. Theoddity of such language incomparabilities proved inspiring as my own education took a concretedirection. Beginning 1945, I attended a private school on 83rd Street near the East River: TheBrearley School. It was and remains an all-girls school. I graduated upper school in 1958. Whileat Brearley I had the opportunity to work on the upper school newspaper. In my senior year, I wasthe newspaper‟s editor. This probably influenced my decision to define my major course of studies in New YorkUniversity‟s Department of Journalism. By my junior year, I opted to add a minor in economicsthrough the school‟s Department of Economics. I envisioned my future as a journalist writing onglobal economic development. While I contributed a few opinion pieces to the student newspaper,the Washington Square Bulletin, I mostly concentrated on my studies while at university. Mydecision to minor in economics presented more challenges than I expected. While halfway through my sophomore year, my future undertook a dramatic turn ofevents. It was December 1960, to be exact. I had just finished fall semester final exams. I was looking forward to the Christmas vacation; a holiday Mother always made special.Indeed, she had already decorated the apartment, raised the family Christmas tree and decorated itwith a collage of English and French ornaments. Gift packages had begun a slight accumulationbeneath and around the tree. 6
  6. 6. The Family Tragedy Mother and Poppa had left New York on a four day trip to Chicago to visit with friendswho had also immigrated to the United States as war refugees from France. They were scheduledto return on December 16th by United Air Lines Flight 826, traveling from Chicago‟s O‟HareAirport to New York‟s Idlewild Airport. I took a car to Idlewild to meet their arrival and to rideback to the apartment in the limousine. The ideal was to share the news of my just completedsuccess at university and talk about finalizing holiday plans. While waiting at the gate and with only minutes until their expected arrival, terrible newsraced through the terminal. Two airplanes had just collided midair over Staten Island. It didn‟ttake long to learn one of those flights was Mother and Poppa‟s flight from Chicago. Although Iprayed they had missed their flight by some fate of fates; it was confirmed within six hours after thecrash that they were indeed on board. I had lost them forever. It would become known as the1960 New York Air Disaster. It is like history branded the way they died as the way they lived. Itwas totally unfair. I was resolved to somehow right this miscarriage of unwanted justice. There are many things that cause one to grow in life. However, the death of my parentsforced me to grow beyond my own years at a pace faster than I could imagine. Somehow, Ireturned to university for the spring 1961 semester, continuing my quest for completion ofsomething that translates a solid and substantial achievement. I pursued my spring 1962 graduationwith fervor unrelenting. 7
  7. 7. Jacques and Alaina The friends my parents had visited in Chicago that now fateful December were JacquesNoelle and his wife Alaina. They had no children; a twist of fate denied them that grace. Both hadpursued professional careers in Chicago. Jacques was an editor at The Chicago Tribune andAlaina pursued her passion in interior design, serving Chicago‟s wealthy. Jacques and Alaina had become my “parents” following Mother and Poppa‟s 1960deaths. They traveled to New York to attend my late May 1962 university graduation ceremony.We dined at the Plaza Hotel after the ceremony. Over dinner, Jacques offered his fatherly help to my future. He suggested, “Well, mybeautiful Olivia, you know I still have many friends in Paris. Perhaps it would be best if you beginyour journalism career in "La Ville-Lumière." Paris is known throughout the world as the City ofLights. He continued, “If you will be so kind as to allow me, I will contact my friend, HubertBeuve-Méry, the Director of Le Monde. I will tell him the beautiful daughter of the late ChefConcierge of the Hôtel Ritz Paris is ready to become one of the world‟s finest journalists and that itwould be a great loss for Paris‟ greatest newspaper if her name appeared on the pages of any otherpublication in the world.” I was floored. I had no idea Jacques yet had such friends in Paris. In all our conversations now come to past, he had not mentioned Monsieur Beuve-Méry.He simply responded, “My precious Olivia, graduation gifts do not always come in small packages.You will be a gift to my friend and his world famous newspaper. Besides, my dear, it will be goodfor your spirits to move away from this place haunted by the loss of our beloved Elizabeth andHenri.” 8
  8. 8. Le Monde represented post-war French independence. General de Gaulle hadpersonally requested Monsieur Beuve-Méry manage the newspaper after Le Monde replaced LeTemps as Paris‟ primary print medium. The latter daily‟s reputation suffered during the Germanoccupation. On June 20, 1962, I received a personal telephone call from Monsieur Beuve-Méry.We enjoyed conversation in both English and French; my tongue had remained grammaticallycorrect in French despite Poppa‟s absence. By the end of the hour‟s discussion, we had reached agreement my Le Monde positionwould commence September 1, 1962. I would be on the Économie Mondiale rapports dupersonnel (Global Economics reporting staff). Monsieur Beuve-Méry promised I would beassigned the most interesting projects to establish my international acclaim as an economicsreporter. I decided to keep the New York apartment. It was still Mother and Poppa‟s home. Thevery idea of selling it to someone else proved an unacceptable burden to be born by my alreadyaching heart. It would always be the Marcel residence; at least as long as I was alive. I moved toParis, France at the beginning of August 1962. 9
  9. 9. Settling Down in Paris Hubert offered me the rental of a Le Monde owned apartment; he allowed me a sixmonth‟s lease and the ability to renew for a like period. The rent was an incredible opportunityordained. The location was even more so. Two islands invade the Seine‟s Parisian north bend: Ile de la Cité, which harborsCathédrale de Notre Dame; and, the Ile Saint Louis, which is defined by its historic 17th centuryresidences. The Le Monde apartment is located on the west side of the Ile Saint Louis; itoverlooks the Seine. The apartment‟s Quai dOrleans address is prestigious, ideal and central. The Ile Saint Louis is defined by its unique Village spirit, with a variety of restaurants, artgalleries, fine shops, groceries, mini markets and all the convenience of a post office, pharmacy,and many other services. It is also within walking distance of attractions such as the Cathédrale deNotre Dame, the Louvre, the Left Bank, the Right Bank and the Latin Quarter. In other words,Hubert ensured I would enjoy my Le Monde tenure as if he never wanted me to leave. 10
  10. 10. The New Le Monde Reporter On my first day at Le Monde Hubert wanted me to get to know my editor, FrancescaYvette Gaston. He assigned me to her because her editorial venue embraced reporting on globaleconomic events. Such articles appeared in Le Monde—Économie Mondiale. Francesca‟s office, and eventually my own, was three floors below the Director‟s office.In our first meeting, Francesca advised I should spend the month of September becoming familiarwith the newspaper‟s operations. She wanted me to understand the process of reportingassignments, editorial review, and submission deadlines. While I would not work as one of LeMonde‟s daily reporters; specialized reporters still had to adhere to assignment timelines. Mostly, I was Francesca‟s assistant during my first month of Le Monde tenure. I couldnot have had a more perfect editorial supervisor. I quickly became familiar with reporting nuances,editorial give and take, the demands of Francesca‟s “last word,” and Le Monde‟s typesettingprocedures. Francesca and I spent a lot of time together. It wasn‟t so much that Francesca would bemy friend to comfort my Parisian transition; rather, she was taking stock of my untested big leaguereporting skills to enable my proper first assignment. 11
  11. 11. My First Assignment That assignment came as September turned into October 1962. During that month, TheBeatles released their first 45 rpm record: Love Me Do on Side A and P.S. I Love You on Side B.It was also the month of the Cuban Missile Crisis. No, my first Le Monde assignment did notinvolve either of those memorable events. Rather, I came to the office one day and found a folderplaced squarely in the middle of my desk. On the cover was my name written by a familiar elegantFrench hand: I peered inside to see the Le Monde reporting assignment sheet, the form of which nowproffered a familiar presence. The folder was not a thin composition; it held several informationaldocuments. Before racing through the contents, I decided to read the assignment sheet. After all,it might shape how I interpret the enclosures. What I enjoyed most, of course, was the line that read, “Assignment Reporter: OliviaCachet Marcel.” Naturally, the Assignment Editor was Francesca Yvette Gaston. The AssignmentPeriod was Friday, October 12, 1962 through Sunday, October 14, 1962. 12
  12. 12. The assignment was spelt out in plain French: I was to “cover an academic presentationto be held at the Paris School of Theology during the Assignment Period‟s three days and to writean article about its contribution to global economic policy-making. The article was scheduled toappear in the Le Monde—Économie Mondiale Sunday edition; that is, Sunday, October 21, 1962. A note appended the bottom of the page: “My Dear Olivia, I thought this assignmentwould be best for your first: A controversy directly lying outside the province of France; but,certainly implicating French interests.” It was signed, “Always, Francesca.” A large photo peered out from its folder position; approximately the third documentdeep. It was a black and white photo, approximately the size of the American 8 by 10. He was aman somewhat my senior but nonetheless intriguingly handsome. His eyes proved mostcaptivating; I could no more stop staring at them than a desired and long awaited feast. Severalminutes must have passed; I had moved from a standing position to taking a seat at someone‟sdesk, perhaps it was mine. I reflected on that moment. Was I captured as a woman? Or, was I captured by comingface to face with my first reporting victim? Surely, the gods would clearly define my instincts; aprerequisite for understanding. I sat back in my chair and contemplated the moment now arrived. I thought about leaving France with my parents; what was surely so long ago, but nowmore familiar than I could disavow. I reflected on my Brearley days and how I giggled with mygirlfriends when we discussed the man of our dreams; trying to define his image, as if to will himinto existence. I reflected on my days at university and how the tragedy of losing my parents causedJacques and Alaina to lead me to this place and time. “Olivia!” I caught myself, “Why are youthinking these things?” The unanswered question filled the room. 13
  13. 13. A few more minutes aided my resuscitation. I reached for the rest of the documentswhilst his eyes watched me the whole time. There was the now familiar RenseignementsBiographiques, what appeared to be an academic paper titled Ordered Conflict Resolution, aParis Faculty on Theology Press Release announcing the forthcoming lecture, a map indicatingthe location of the Sorbonne (as if any Parisian needed that aid), a conference invitation fromthe Paris Faculty on Theology inviting Le Monde to report on the event, and Le Monde presscredentials bearing my photo and my name, this time in plain and bold terms: Olivia Cachet Marcel Le Monde I liked the presentment, narcissistic as it may seem. It was my cotillionesque debut onthe world journalistic stage. All the while his eyes kept staring at me; beckoning me to learn yetmore of a destiny now confronting. I picked up his Renseignements Biographiques: “Malachi Elizah Jones, Ph.D.” That washis name, Malachi Elizah Jones. His eyes continued staring. “Damn it!” I swore at myself.Temptation won out. I reviewed his photo again. I held it in my left hand not more than 20 centimeters frommy face. I absorbed the lines in his face; his natural smile. I observed the way his hair laid back inan obedient parade. But, it was his eyes. There was something deep and meaningful about hiseyes. I didn‟t know what color they were, I just stared into them. I had become lost inside thepreeminent Professor Jones. “Olivia!” My common sense again shouted; lucid consciousness,however, remained elusive. 14
  14. 14. I concentrated. I wanted to understand the nature of the professor‟s preeminence.“Professor, Department of Economics, Benedictine College, Atchinson, Kansas,” read his currentposition statement. With a little research I learned the college was formed in the mid to late 1800sby the Benedictine Order and that Atchinson is located in Kansas on the Missouri River about 120kilometers north-northwest from Kansas City, Missouri; which is the most populated of the twocontiguous cities boasting the same name. Professor Jones had been a university professor for nearly fifteen years. The enclosedRenseignements Biographiques summarized the nature of Professor Jones‟ fame all the while hiseyes kept me in plain view. The bio reported our Professor Jones as among the tenuredBenedictine faculty; but, that his research had put him at odds with the university‟s Department ofTheology. The religious studies department‟s mission represents “Catholic theology, taught in amanner faithful to Scripture, Tradition, and the Church‟s Magisterium, and provides an awarenessof the Gospel principles which will enrich the meaning of human life and give it a new dignity.”However, Professor Jones‟ publications indicate it was Pythagoras who authored scripture‟s mostcherished secret: Ordered Conflict Resolution. This academic accomplishment proved to be the root evil in Benedictine Catholicism.The press release indicated only a federal district court preliminary injunction saved the professorfrom being fired from Benedictine College, tenure notwithstanding. The controversy raged acrossthe world‟s press, if only by its back pages: The economics professor‟s Pythagorean preachingversus Church dogma. The controversy seemed to make his eyes more sexy; appealing to thebedroom wanting side of my currently French disposition. 15
  15. 15. The Paris Faculty on Theology press invitation indicated I was invited to participate in alimited number of functions involving Professor Malachi Elizah Jones. On Friday evening,October 12, 1962, Professor Jones would present his paper, Ordered Conflict Resolution.Following the presentation, he would answer press questions leading to an understanding of thepaper. The invitation requested the press refrain from questions involving the BenedictineCollege controversy until the Sunday, October 14, 1962 press questions period. On Saturday, October 13th, Afternoon Tea would precede the Professor’s Pythagoreanpresentation. It was scheduled at 4 p.m. High Tea traditionally incorporates heavier foods stuff.By implication, the invitation was indicating light snacks would accompany. The press was invited to the informal gathering. No press questions or answers wereappropriate at this function; it was so cautioned. The second day’s presentation would followthe tea at 5:30 p.m. However, there would be no press conference following this presentation.The topic involved Professor Jones’ demonstration scripture’s philosophical tenets were initiallyauthored by Pythagoras or the Pythagorean School. The third day’s presentation served the saving crescendo. On that day, ProfessorJones would speak to the controversy with the Church at 5 p.m. Press questions would followthe presentation at approximately 6 p.m. An hour was allotted for such inquisitions. That wouldbe followed with a cocktail hour and a formal dinner; however, no press questions would beallowed during those events; evidencing French manners always transcend argument. While Iwas invited to attend all the foregoing events, the press was not invited to participate in thefaculty’s private conferences with Professor Malachi Elizah Jones. 16
  16. 16. Those eyes; I found myself surrendering once again. It was as if the photo was taken formy preeminent pleasure. “Olivia! You are a professional!” My counseling reprimand was for thebenefit of those not present. I committed myself to understanding the mystery of Ordered ConflictResolution and its transcending message for the halls Mother had once walked. No other reporterwould surpass my comprehension; that was my solemn vow.Parisian Shopping During the week of October 14th I did what any up and coming female journalist woulddo in anticipation of her first assignment: I went shopping. If I was to excel in my opportunity tointerrogate the somewhat infamous Dr. Jones, I would do so in a sense of glamorous style thatwould be this reporter‟s professional signature. Naturally, when it comes to fashion, Paris is not atthe bottom of the list of shopping paradises. The two most famous Parisian department stores are on Boulevard Haussman, on theRight Bank. Galeries Lafayette, at number 40, and Le Printemps, at number 64, compete fiercelyto attract Parisian and international shoppers. A well schooled maven of the racks, I pursued bothwith relentless dedication. After all, this was my career. A trek entailing kilometer after kilometer ended with decisions cast with a certaindeclaration: My arrival and, perhaps, a postcard for Professor Jones. For Friday evening, I chose aglimmery short-sleeved sheath dress, solid in tan color: Fashionable but reasonably sustainedwithin professional boundaries. It was purchased at Le Printemps, if you must know. The sheath had a defined waist anda figure-hugging silhouette. It was styled with a deep V-neckline. I have mature breasts, but I amnot overly endowed. Nonetheless my bustline surely required the eyeing voyeur‟s interpretation. 17
  17. 17. The exposed fair complexion would be adorned with a strand of Mother‟s Mikimotopearls. After all, my sense of glamour and style had been ordained by Fullerton women preceding.With beige heels, I knew I would hold court when it was my turn to propound questions to thecontroversial guest speaker. Or, I was intending to merely propound him? For Saturday‟s Afternoon Tea, I opted for the classic French maiden look. My semi-full,floral print skirt hugged my hips; but then blossomed to just below my knees. I married this with along-sleeved ruffle neck white blouse I would wear buttoned to the top. Mother‟s Cameo would lieagainst the white cotton texture. A fall-colored sweater vest would define the professional attire allthe while comfortably accommodating the soft figure of my breasts transcending my hips. This Iamalgamated from various areas of Galeries Lafayette. Again, I thought, a balance had beenproperly struck between professional journalism and propounding that professor. The Sunday evening event promised to be more of a romantic fling than an academicconference, or so it seemed through my now biased perspective. After all, the Paris Faculty onTheology was hosting a cocktail party! Scandal was certain to fill the boulevards and avenues;raging controversy was sure to descend from the halls of the legendary Sorbonne. Fittingly, I returned to Le Printemps for an evening sheath to resonate my femaleattributes beyond the pale. Another form fitting sheath proved to be fittingly consequential. Thedress shimmered its Egyptian blue luster with a lustful purpose; a confession I must leave indelibleupon these pages. By the time my shopping soirée reached its zenith sexuality had transcendedpurpose. I knew at this juncture his eyes were defining my choices. The way I sauntered from LePrintemps to Galeries Lafayette and back again; the way my slip caressed my body as I tried on thisor that; the way I had begun to secretly hope his eyes would undress me, all defined my purpose tobe a professional lie. “Damn it, Olivia,” I cried for my own destiny. 18
  18. 18. The First Day Wednesday became Thursday; and, Thursday turned into Friday morning. I started theday by sipping my coffee while peering at the Seine through enlacing balustrades. In my heart, Iwanted to caress the day into the foray of the evening‟s preparation. I was yearning my womb‟sconfession. Never before had I sensed my breeding purpose so alive and vibrant. Everything that was woman about me was then titillating; his photo lying in plain sight onthe dining table. “I am prepared,” I concluded to the only one in the room. “Prepared for what,Olivia?” asked the voice behind the voice. I had studied the paper written by Malachi Elizah Jones, Ph.D. I thought I understoodOrdered Conflict Resolution. To resolve conflict among individual preferences, it was necessary toput yourself in the other person‟s view of the world and find conflict resolution from that vantage.After all, I studied Professor Arrow‟s 1951 treatise, Social Choice and Individual Values, while asenior at New York University. Professional demands surely now foreseeably satisfied in a mannersuperior to my journalistic brethren, I could focus on my personal presentment for the evening‟saffair. I began preparing for the 6:45 p.m. Sorbonne arrival nearly three hours earlier: 4 p.m.Parisian time, to be exact. I luxuriated a bath filled with perfumed bubbles caressing. After all, ifthose eyes were going to come close to mine, the subtle fragrance defining my advantage would wafthis senses. I insisted. My make-up counter was not cluttered; Mother would have agreed it was well organizedand ready for any appraising inspection. My hair has always been a rich and full pantheon of darkabundance. Tonight was no exception; the mere suggestion of a wavy context established mycalling card. 19
  19. 19. I carefully applied my base; subtle rouge writing the sparkles of Heaven‟s Kisses(Mother‟s term) here and there left my fair complexion intact. I penciled my eyebrows, anddabbed a soft amber gloss on my lips; lips sure to be viewed as luscious against the evening light. The sensuality was ebbing at the appropriate time; my female confidence began oozingthe script all would follow at the Paris Faculty on Theology. It was like I was preparing for a firstdate! What was I thinking? “Focus, Olivia, focus,” I exclaimed under my breath. My panties and bra seemed to apply a nude fragrance to my body. My slip mountedevery curve my slender frame defined promontory. It was time to adorn the crowning LePrintemps achievement. The tan sheath fulfilled its obligation, graduating my shapely figure itsglorious accomplishment. My sobriety returned when the telephone rang the apartment hallway a noisy clatter. Ihad only slipped into one heel when the air had been rudely disturbed. I hobbled to the phonelike the venerable hunchback. It was Hubert Beuve-Méry. The once consuming titillation immediately deflated; all myebbing female sensuality collapsed. I returned at once to my Le Monde desk. “My dear Olivia,”Hubert‟s gentle voice caressed, “I am calling only to let you know I am confident you will representLe Monde as superior among the world‟s economic press this evening. May the souls of yourparents be with you tonight, Olivia.” “Hubert,” I blasphemed, “thank you for taking the time to call at this moment. Yourencouragement means so much after all you have done to further my career.” It seemed thetelephone hung itself. It was a sobering moment in a young woman‟s fancies. The Latin Quarter and the Sorbonne were only a ten minute taxi across the Pont deSully from the Ile Saint Louis, Quai dOrléans. The Seine reflected the City of Lights, seeminglysaluting my taxi now traversing. 20
  20. 20. I arrived at 6:45 p.m. and ascended the Sorbonne entry steps. I presented my presscredentials to the doorman. Allowing my entrance, he directed me to the elevator and I rode asolitary presence to the fourth floor. The third door to the left proved the entry vestibule to theGreat Hall of the Paris Faculty on Theology. Many portraits adorned the chamber‟s walls. There was a particular set of portraitscelebrating the contributions of faculty now deceased. Tears welled up in my eyes and my throatchoked when I saw her. Eerily, I was now wearing the same pearls captured in Mother‟s portrait.The nameplate set below reported her name: Elizabeth Louise Fullerton Marcel.Seeing Mother‟s face memorialized by this revered institution allowed me to experience hersupport for my first professional assignment; particularly knowing Mother‟s professional essence. Ialso heard her voice, “Gran Mama was right, Olivia.” It was as if Mother knew my body was cavinginto the anticipation of soon-to-be encounters with Professor Jones. “My God, why am I reallyhere?” I continued to investigate. The Director of the Paris Faculty on Theology, a somewhat mousy figure by the name ofProfessor LePage, came to the podium first. His half hour soliloquy on Professor Malachi ElizahJones, his academic accomplishments, and his confrontation with the Church through theBenedictine College controversy put nearly everyone present to sleep. Finally, Professor Jones took the podium; and, while somewhat leaning over, his eyesscanned the audience as he confidently remarked, “Good evening!” He settled on my exposedneckline and its pearl adorned fair complexion. Finally, his eyes ascended to greet my own.Electricity sparked down my spine; titillation had returned. “My God, I‟m alive!” The thoughtinstantly displaced two weeks of academic preparation. 21
  21. 21. Professor Jones was not only an excellent speaker but his academic persuasion was wellreasoned; his command unassailable. I agreed with everything he said. He kept returning his eyesto the business of undressing my V-neck sheath and conquering my eyes. Subtle he was, though; Imust acknowledge. I tried my damndest to put on a persuasion of disinterest. I already briefed his paper for my article. Incrementally, there was nothing tocontribute to the article from the evening’s disclosure other than the introduction by thecomparatively feeble LePage. During the press question period, there were no competentquestions as no one in the room could stand to challenge the podium. I found no need toquestion the renegade; I would broker no further advantage to his resume. The conferencebroke for the evening. As I walked to the elevator to descend to the ground floor, I realized Professor Joneswas not too far behind; hidden among those waiting their turn to ride the elevator. Attribute itto a woman’s innate carnal sense. As the elevator doors opened, I assumed close proximity to the control panel’sopposite corner. There were about fifteen of us who were descending on this descending trip.As fate would have it, Professor Jones was separated from me by only one person. We werefacing one another, my exposed neckline and pearls were plunder for his unswervingconsumption. His eyes met mine. It was like a song playing without the template of music orvoice portraying while nonetheless conveying passion’s dance. The penetration of his gazeconducted a symphony along such lines. It’s a good thing we are not committed by thoughtalone; else I would have endured a naked abatement with all my secrets exposed. 22
  22. 22. The Second Day The next morning, the telephone again rang Hubert‟s directorial, but supportive,conversation. When he learned I failed to ask questions during the first press question period hisvoice took on a firm fatherly poise. “My dear Olivia,” he began, “you are representing one of theworld‟s greatest dailies.” His French began to sound more like my Father‟s and less like thewarmth of Mother‟s English. By the time he finished his gentle lecture, I promised I would holdsuperior court in the next press opportunity; I would not fail him. Then I considered the truth measured by its entirety. I didn‟t tell Hubert what I fearedmost: Professor Jones would learn I was already attracted to him, and fatally so. That‟s the realreason I didn‟t ask a single question during the preceding evening‟s press question period. While Ibelieve I was the most qualified reporter in the room to interrogate the great professor on OrderedConflict Resolution, I abandoned my Le Monde priorities to take stock of the cause of myuncontrolled titillation. I vowed firmly within my soul the Le Monde presence would be known atthe final press conference. While Professor Jones enjoyed the opening salvo his personal victory; Iwould claim the last barrage my professional accomplishment. From the time of Hubert‟s telephone call bearing subtle encouragement, I muddledaround the apartment in my night clothes. I sipped coffee; entranced by the Seine‟s unending flowof rhythm and ripples. I reviewed my notes on Professor LePage‟s introduction and characterizedit for the article as “an academic genteel privilege.” I then blended the introduction with asummary of Ordered Conflict Resolution as I had penned it over the course of the two weekspreceding. The article was beginning to define its own existence, setting a stage for abbreviating thecontroversy with the Church; reported from the vantage of professional disinterest, of course. 23
  23. 23. In preparation for today‟s lecture, I had accomplished some research on Pythagoras andthe Pythagorean School. I was unable to find any previously recorded claim he or it had authoredany portion of scripture. My notes covered the Pythagorean Theorem and how it led to thediscovery of irrational numbers; a phenomenon purportedly regarded by the Great GreekPhilosopher with heated disdain. As hour upon hour passed with relative disinterest, I discovered 1 p.m. had arrived. Iraced to fill the bath as I began the preparatory ritual. Leaving the apartment by 3:30 p.m. for thebrief ride across the Pont de Sully was a necessary condition. That schedule would have mearriving at the Sorbonne by 3:45. I knew I would abandon the sensuality of nude silk bra and panties in favor of simplewhite cotton; a fabric more abrasively caressing by design. That was my threshold resolve infulfilling Hubert‟s mandate. Why it was necessary to adorn undergarments before finishing my hair and applying whatlittle make-up I would allow was assuredly a testament to either my modesty or need not to besensually distracted. After all, witnessing the mirror‟s reflection of the perfection of my crownednipples seated privileged atop my cupped breasts and the slight mound of dark hair between mylegs had, on more than one occasion, compelled my own pleasure taking. This was business. Ididn‟t want to be sexually displaced at this time. By habit, I used my undergarments to dissuadecuriosity fulfilling my own attributes. I pronounced my hair a rich, dark frolic of slight waves accommodating. Mother alwayscommented, as she did now, how God blessed her womb with such beauty emerging—herdaughter‟s angelic face. The acknowledgement is thereby devoted to Mother‟s memory. Whileconfident, I do not need to besiege myself with such endogenous flattery. 24
  24. 24. The make-up ritual remained unchanged from the evening before with one slight exception.Today‟s afternoon affair counseled against Heaven‟s Kisses dancing on my face. My lips set a slightpinkish hue; a slight escalation from yesterday‟s more neutral cause. I put on my underslip followed by the blouse with its fluted neck; skirt and sweater vestcompleted the ensemble. My stockings were fastened by garter; my shoes a black flat. Therewould be no suggestive high-heels defining today‟s privileged disclosure. Lastly, I went to the jewelry chest and retrieved Mother‟s Cameo. I suppose you couldsay it was one of many small ways I kept her living well in my heart. It is an inheritance I shallforever keep. As usual, I concluded with departure‟s penultimate review in the bedroom‟s standingfloor mirror; French by architecture. My assessment buoyed my confidence. Today, in keepingwith the properness of the Afternoon Tea, my appearance could only be characterized asprofessional; but nonetheless serving fashion‟s French tongue. It would not be Professor Jones‟sadvantage today. No; today, Olivia Cachet Marcel would arrive independent from her reportingvictim‟s unwitting clutches and carry on the family‟s female lineage established in the words of GranMama. I arrived at the Sorbonne at 3:50; the Pont de Sully was unusually crowded with Parisianbicycle traffic. “It must be a Saturday afternoon phenomenon,” I briefly considered.The doorman established his chivalrous claim as he allowed my entrance, “Bon après-midi,Mademoiselle Marcel!” I moved toward the elevator to scramble to the fourth floor for my timelyarrival. 25
  25. 25. The Great Hall of the Paris Faculty of Theology had undergone a moderatetransformation since my departure the evening just past. Immediately, I witnessed Afternoon Teawas properly defined to the rear of the presentation room with light savories, scones and pastries. Iopted to garner a safe position prior to the lecture‟s commencement. I stood near the last row ofaudience chairs. I looked about the room; but, his presence escaped my eyes. A modicum of fearbecame possessive. But that soon suffered a discounted existence as I again found Mother‟s pearlsa comforting emblem. The crowd murmur increased as if to use its collective voice to point to the entryvestibule. The center of attention strolled into the Great Hall knowing his rightful place in thehierarchy of human existence among academics; “Certainly,” he must have thought, “they ought toname this damn place after me.” “A typical American academic snob” was the defenseimmediately contemplated but subsequently discarded. As he entered the room, I noticed his eyes. He, too, searched the meadow of humanity.The search ceased when he found me. He strolled right up to where I was standing. Despitecontinental manners, he extended his hand to greet mine. Of course, I naturally took it; “politesociety be damned.” He looked at my name tag and proclaimed, “Hello Olivia; Malachi Jones.May I get you a cup of tea?” “Damn it,” my heart whispered, “He‟s looking me right in the eye without anequivocating intention.” He had the intercourse advantage; it was his natural gift. I struggled tohang on to my senses. I mumbled, “Yes, please, Professor. That would be delightful.” He made apoint of reporting that his return was imminent. I knew his eyes were undressing me, too. I‟m surehe wanted to know the truth advertised yesterday remained hospitable in the comfort of the nightair now memorialized. 26
  26. 26. Akin to Poe‟s Tell-Tale Heart, titillation began to peer through my white cottonundergarments; so much for that inventive purpose. Every female sensation about me respondedto his close proximity and his query of wants formerly held secret in my soul. My lips were tastingdesire; my breasts seemed to be afire. The electricity raced down my spine converting my Catholicdefined panties to a rhythmic flow rivaling the Seine. “I‟ll be damned,” I thought, “He knew how to steal the advantage.” As I observed him inline, the light banter he was exchanging with other tea connoisseurs resonated only confidence.There was no evidence that I disturbed him as he disturbed me. I noticed Mother‟s eyes caughtthe entire episode. “Gran Mama was right, Olivia!” her now familiar refrain filled the Great Hall.I decided to mingle to feign my disinterest, “He will find me. After all, how significant is a cup oftea?” “Olivia, listen to you!” I exclaimed to no one else nearby. It seemed hours had passed. “What could be keeping him?” my wonder considered. Icontemplated he might be plying his wares on either of the other two female reporters covering thisconference. “I will not allow my eyes to search for him,” was my self-admonishing edict, “I musthold patient.” Without much ado, he finally returned as he silently slid beside me amidst uninterestingprofessional discussion with other reporters. His demeanor was seriously more relaxed than mine;indeed, the entire room‟s demeanor seemed more at ease than me. My initial instinct was to cross-examine his absence, but I somehow restrained the urge.He wasted no time, he continued his interrogation: “Olivia, what is your position at Le Monde;and, what on earth possessed anyone to send you to this conference? Were you bad, Olivia?” Hejokingly jabbed. 27
  27. 27. I briefly explained how a family friend introduced me to Monsieur Beuve-Méry, LeMonde’s Director. Of course, he interrupted by recounting the story to me of how General deGaulle had asked him to reestablish Parisian news reporting. “Damn it,” I thought, “He knowsmore about my professional resume than I do his.” I then explained my New York University education included a journalism major andan economics minor. He confessed he was a Stanford graduate and had met Professor Arrow atseveral Stanford economics conferences. “Uh, oh,” I thought, “an east coast versus west coastacademic snobbery confrontation is imminent.” But, suddenly, he changed the course ofconversation by asking, “Tell me, Olivia, what is it that you do for fun in Paris?” “Fun?” I quietly questioned myself. The question made me realize I really hadn’t had“fun” since Mother and Poppa’s passing. The only “fun” I’ve since encountered is this man’sproximity to me. The closer he gets the more fun it is. On awakening to conscious thought, I confessed, “Well, Professor Jones, I just movedto Paris to begin my journalism career at Le Monde a mere two months ago. I suppose I willsettle into Parisian accoutrements soon.” “Olivia,” his voice sensually pleaded, “please call me Malachi.”That space behind my knees began perspiring. Gran Mama’s distinction lectured: “Remember,Olivia, horses sweat, girls perspire.” He then began recounting how he had taken a plethora of dance lessons: “Cha-Cha,Swing, Foxtrot,” words he spoke as his eyes undressed my perception of being held in his arms.“I usually drive to Kansas City, Missouri to dance.” 28
  28. 28. “That sounds like a lot of fun, Malachi!” I supplanted with adoring interest. “Hubert!”my soul quietly pled, “Veuillez, mon directeur, sauver votre Mademoiselle journaliste!” I thoughtmy plea to be rescued cast by French persuasion would be most convincing to hale MonsieurBeuve-Méry‟s preeminent counsel. Instead, I was literally rescued by the bell. One of the conference servants rang a bellindicating it was time for the late afternoon‟s presentation. Malachi excused himself, vowing tocontinue the conversation sooner than later. I took my assigned seat in the second row, threeplaces to the right of the podium. That evening, Malachi Elizah Jones, Ph.D. shared his evidence attesting his claimPythagoras or the Pythagorean School authored scripture‟s philosophical tenets. He lectured hisassessment derives, in part, from The Book of Numbers. He asked the audience to note the totalcensus of the Twelve Tribes of Israel as reported in Chapters 1 and 2 as opposed to Chapter 26.He wrote those totals on the chalkboard provided by the Paris Faculty of Theology: 603,550 and601,730, respectively. He explained the algorithm that translated these two census totals into thenumber 122, using among other factors the Pythagorean (3, 4, 5) relationships and the current dayrepresenting the birth of Christ: 1225. The number 122, Professor Jones continued lecturing was the unordered contextrepresentation of its ordered context value, 2122. In order to understand the meaning of thatnumber, one had to recognize what Malachi termed the Mountains of Ararat Accounting System.The scripture writers‟ accounting system was predicated on an “any finite set” notion of real wholeintegers; sets designed to exclude irrational numbers. 29
  29. 29. While the audience sat dazed by the barrage of numerical analyses, the Paris Faculty ofTheology‟s purpose in prohibiting press questions was clear: Please absorb this material during theday intervening press question periods. I was among those who would have to study the professor‟sargument that it was, indeed, Pythagoras or the Pythagorean School that authored scripture. Thatis, it was the great thinkers of Greek philosophy who wrote scripture and not the nomadic Tribes ofIsrael inspired by Divine ordination. As the evening broke, I gathered my things. I briefly considered the possessingunfinished business. He began with sexual arousal and ended with cerebral orgasms confusing. Imade my way to the elevator. Of course, I found it necessary to look back to find his presence. As fate would write thischapter, though, my elevator preceded his. We were left with only a momentary exchange of softsmiles dispensed by closing doors. Needless to say, my taxi to the Ile Saint Louis was adrift in lost contemplation. I took theelevator to my flat, unlocked the door and deposited my materials on the kitchen nook‟s diningtable; my sanctuary of romance cast against the undulating Seine.I proceeded to my bedroom and found my white cottons to be more sensual in removal than whenI was first shackled to their prison. Happenstance be what it may, I caressed my own breasts anddisturbed the matted dark hair between my legs. I continued contemplating the great professor as Iwas brushing my teeth. That vision was transformed when I gazed upon my nudity now reflecting. His armsembracing and close proximity devolved from a contemplated romantic dance. An envisioneddimly lit ballroom began its miracle work on senses I had recently considered dead. I was alive, awoman alive against the depravation of loneliness. 30
  30. 30. I considered my proprietary investigation as I made my way between Egyptian cottonsheets. There was a marked cotton contrast this time. I found the moment arousing, dreams ofdancing with him somewhere soon filled my head like the Christmas Carol‟s sugar plums. My body responded. My lips were alive with his desire. My breasts perked to hisphantom touch. My legs spread as I took myself into the dreams the night promised for loving aman I scarcely knew but wanted to thoroughly understand. “To hell with tomorrow,” I squirmed,“I want this night to be a taking of consequential proportions.” Eventually, sleep became my bestcompanion though my tongue still held a name dear to my heart of hearts: “Malachi.”The Third Day I woke up my usual habit on Sunday morning; save relentless contemplation of ourastute professor. The quietly undulating river Seine served the canvas of thoughts blended byhospitable confusion. The easiest thing for me to understand was my own sexual privilege. Thestatus of this primal condition finds my dress slipped from my shoulders, exposing chic and sensualLe Printemps undergarments awaiting his conquering invasion. The other end of the confounded continuum holds hostage nagging questions envelopingmy first Le Monde reporting assignment. Why would a semi-acclaimed economics professor froman obscure midwestern American Catholic college be here, in Paris, giving a series of lectures at therevered Great Hall of the Paris Faculty on Theology? 31
  31. 31. I considered further that there must be a coalescing of interests. That is, Professor Jonesand the Paris Faculty on Theology must be in league; their motives moving in the same direction.While I am unsure on this point, why is the press invited to attend this academic presentation?Isn‟t that unusual?Ordered Conflict Resolution was a seemingly innocuous social choice theory paper published by aSwedish economics journal, Ekonomisk Tidskrift. The journal has been around since 1899 andhas published important Scandinavian contributions. It didn‟t begin printing English papers until1947. Why did Jones pursue publication in a foreign journal as opposed to more venerableAmerican journals?“God,” I exclaimed to the Seine while sipping morning coffee laced with intoxicating double cream,“I endeavored a journalistic career; not an investigator‟s quagmire.” I will enquire with bothFrancesca and Hubert. After all, they surely wouldn‟t want the international Le Monde reputationsoiled by this most unlikely collaboration of interests. “Nonetheless,” I was compelled toacknowledge, “I must continue my assessment of the conference‟s newsworthiness to ferret whatmorsels should be reduced to print.” As I thought about the lectures comprising the affairs of the two days now past, it came tome. Excitement tingled my spinal connections once again. This time, however, it wasn‟t theprofessor‟s flirtatious innuendo holding court; rather, it‟s what remains unsaid about thisconference that defines its importance. 32
  32. 32. I quickly scribed essential questions knowing I would put personal interests aside tothoroughly cross-examine the unwitting victim. “Assuredly,” my confidence ebbed, “the byline willimplicitly read: Olivia Cachet Marcel, Global Economics Reporter of the internationally esteemedLe Monde; Monsieur Hubert Beuve-Méry, Director.” Yes, it would all come together today,Sunday, October 14, 1962 at the Great Hall of the Paris Faculty of Theology. Acclaim would beredefined; whether or not the handsome professor survived the pointed exchange.The presentation would begin at 5 p.m.; requiring the ritual to commence no later than 2 p.m. Ihad intended my last Le Printemps acquisition to appease eyes that have haunted me for over twoweeks. The Egyptian blue sheath, low V-neckline notwithstanding, would now be adorned aprosecutor‟s robe. The underlying black panties and bra would not only define my sexuality oozing, butempower the night arriving my plunder seized. Yes, admittedly, I was brimming with what othersmy term over-confidence; if not an untested arrogance. But, I believed I was totally prepared forthis quest. My bath drawn, I submerged my nakedness in a sensual pleasure of fragrant bubbles,soothing my beastly passions to an aromatic distillation. The warrior in me agitated by my resolveonce again became the beautiful woman Mother had raised to be her daughter. My fervor achieved such a driven fever I began fixing my hair and applying my make-upwithout first stepping into concealing undergarments. My confidence transformed my sexualsyzygy: Full lips, perfect breasts, and a luscious mound tufted in its own dark crown. “Isn‟t thatstrange?” I investigated, “Sensuality manifests the Greek goddess Artemis my professionalinheritance.” 33
  33. 33. My hair was fashioned by a tortoise shell clip exposing my right ear. I allowed slightbrunette waves to slightly decorate the left side. I wanted my face to be alive. Not so much for theintoxicating American Midwest economics professor; but for the spotlight that would surely capturea fulfilling Le Monde heritage. Base applied, Heavens Kisses were again ordained as not only complimentary to my faircomplexion; but on this evening, a necessary condition. Lips were painted a brighter red; indicatingthe brazen fire burning inside me. I intended to ply him with liquor from my cabinet this evening;if not outright pummel his heart into submission. My vanity seat accommodated my bare ass as I placed cotton balls between my toes toapply a proper shade of red lacquer. The exposed “little piggies” would accommodate my blackheels, protruding into the Great Hall to establish their own recognition. Accordingly, they had tobe properly dressed. “All right, Olivia,” I assessed, “though you are quite pleased and aroused by your nudedisposition at this moment, the time has arrived to get dressed.” Retrieving my blackundergarments, I slipped into my panties first; watching the dark mound become a hidden secret.My breasts welcomed their evening‟s repose while my nipples seemed to sing a prayer of thanks forthe titillating comfort upon which they had come to rest. Egyptian blue shimmer; the sheath dress slipped its presence with ease. My waistproperly countenanced a form fitting attractive definition. I retrieved Mother‟s Mikimoto‟s fromtheir hiding place. 34
  34. 34. I decided against stockings this evening; my cleanly shaven shapely legs would announcemy confidence before my first spoken question. Penultimate departure review accomplished; Itelephoned the front door requesting a taxi be hailed for travel to the Sorbonne in the LatinQuarter. The Pont de Sully was calmer than a day earlier; allowing the 4:45 p.m. arrival.“Bonsoir, Mademoiselle Marcel!” greeted the Sorbonne doorman. My ride in the elevator to thefourth floor seemed quicker than days preceding. I knew I was preoccupied this time, not by ahandsome face beckoning, but by notes recorded in my hand for the press question period. As I entered the Great Hall, Mother seemed to appreciate the pearls nowcomplementing the fair complexion of my exposed neckline. We exchanged smiles; I knew herpride would assure the day my personal and professional accomplishment. Since the professor‟spresentation anticipated the cocktail hour and evening supper, I immediately took my seat in thesecond row, third chair to the right of the podium. This evening he was wearing a black and white hounds-tooth sports coat, open whitedress shirt, and black slacks. He was handsome as he leaned over the podium, peering among theaudience and reporting, “Good Evening, Ladies and Gentlemen.” His eyes had finally settled onmy pearls, or so it seemed, and then raised their inheritance to acquire my eyes. “Damn it, Olivia!”rationality contested, “Don‟t fall into his trap tonight! Think of Le Monde, Monsieur Beuve-Méry,Francesca, your article, your very journalistic future now at stake in his gaze.” 35
  35. 35. His lecture began. He underscored his decipherment of ordered conflict resolution asscripture‟s most important secret now revealed. He pointed to his analyses indicating that it wasindeed Pythagoras or the Pythagorean School that encrypted scripture in a sea of metaphors;masking her philosophical tenets in stories recounted through the ages. Convincingly, hediscounted Twelve Tribe Divination. Then, he concluded, scripture‟s characters, made famousthrough the ages, serve as metaphors describing impossibility-resolved social choice theory; theperfection of coextensive individual and societal well-being. As a result, scripture‟s metaphoricalcharacters never existed, per se. The audience was stunned; quiet filled the chamber. “That,” reported Malachi Elizah Jones, Ph.D., “brings me to my controversy with theChurch.” “The first thing you need to understand,” continued the learned one, “is that thecontroversy is with the Church; although cast between the Benedictine College and me.” He wasconfident the college, but for Vatican pressure, would not have fired him. “All through the ages,”he advised, “the Church has tried to hide scripture‟s secrets, doling them out now and then maskedas some intellectuals‟ accomplishments to serve its agenda to remain important among global socio-economic power brokers.” Interestingly, he seemed to be setting the stage for questions like those I scribed duringthis morning‟s coffee conference with the Seine. “Perhaps,” I allowed, “we are of the same mind.”When his lecture finished, the mousy Professor LePage ascended the podium and lowered themicrophone to comport his lesser stature. He announced, “The question period will commencenow and be finished precisely at 7 p.m. Dr. Jones will now take questions from the audience.”Others raised their hands before I could retrieve my note pad with my predetermined questionsready for the asking. I had to wait for two others to finish before me. Their questions soughtclarification on trivial matters: “Please explain well-being? Is your metaphor conclusion extendedto the New Testament as well as the Old Testament?” 36
  36. 36. My turn arrived. I stood and looked him directly in the eye. His smile, I surmised, wasintended to make me stumble through my questions. That‟s why I wrote them down.“Dr. Jones,” I began, “you said the New Testament‟s twelve apostles and Jesus are metaphoricalrepresentations in an economic model and that said persons never actually or physically existed,did I understand your argument correctly?” He retaliated with simple eloquence: “Yes, Mademoiselle Marcel that is correct.” I havehim cornered now; soon, the sweet taste of victory will be on my lips.”I looked down at my notebook, referencing my second question. “Is it your understanding that theChurch, and by church I mean the Vatican, represents that the apostle Peter was its first pope?” Iquestioned. “Yes, Mademoiselle Marcel, I believe that is the Church‟s claim of proximity to the NewTestament‟s Jesus.” His response was unequivocal. I carefully considered my final question. “The logical deduction of your lecture today,then, is that the Church‟s representation that the New Testament‟s Peter was its first pope isfraudulent and a knowing misrepresentation to serve its global socio-economic political interests.Would you agree with that statement Professor Jones?” A hush awaited his response. “That is the precise logical deduction of my research Mademoiselle Marcel.” Hisproclamation engendered the audience‟s gasp. “May I burden these proceedings with one final question, Professor Jones?” I askedwhile collecting my thoughts. “Of course,” he allowed, “that is why we are gathered here.” 37
  37. 37. I carefully enquired, “Is it your belief that the firing of a tenured professor at BenedictineCollege, a long established Catholic institution, was directed by the Vatican to discredit yourresearch to forestall the discovery of this fraud and not merely because your research disagreed withChurch dogma?” I knew his answer before he said it. “That is a very perceptive question, Mademoiselle Marcel.” he responded, “I believeyour assessment is correct.” The prize was mine. The rest of the audience sat incredulous againstthe pair-wise conversation just transpired. My story solidified. “Thank you for your straightforward response Professor,” I concluded. A few otherunimportant questions consumed the hour just passed. It was as if no one else dare tread on thatHoly Ground. For my part, I made a few more notes to ensure I would properly quote Malachi ElizahJones, Ph.D. LePage declared the conference concluded and announced all present werewelcomed by the Paris Faculty on Theology to attend the cocktail hour. He advised, “Preparationsfor this event to take place at the other end of the Great Hall are now complete. Supper wouldtake place precisely at 8 p.m.; the tables also being set at the back of the hall.” Conversational murmurs continued, “I don‟t think my editor will allow me to print thatstory, will yours?” “No,” seemed to be the collective response. When it was my turn to order a drink, I gazed into the bartender‟s eyes while heenquired my choice. “Vodka tonic,” I pleaded. The first thing I noticed after tasting my first sip is that the room had segregated;reporters arranged along the north wall while the faculty, including Professor Jones were alignedalong the south wall. Naturally, I took to my own kind. The two factions were separated only by 6or 7 meters; not kilometers. 38
  38. 38. The vodka settled a convalescing friend. I was warmed; reminded of the nude auditionthat followed my perfumed bath. The fragrance continued reminiscent. When I turned to learn Malachi‟s pursuits, I found he had been staring at me. He waslooking at the right side of my head; not my eyes. I considered his interest was the fashion of myhair swept up. Actually, his non-blinking fixation seemed to be my right ear. I could swear he wasstudying the intricacies of my ear. I committed myself beyond resolve: I would hold still until thephotographer‟s aperture closed. In a few moments, I turned to feign conversational participation with my cowardlybrethren. The next time I turned to find Malachi, I found his eyes cascading the lower part of me:“He was studying my ass!” He has no shame I concluded. I was glad I had inventoried the sight ofmy ass in the full length mirror before departing this morning. I understood his appreciation.Then his eyes lowered down my legs and settled on my ankles or feet. “I was being inventoried!” Ishockingly admitted. “That lecher!” I playfully acknowledged. The heat was arriving; I knew another vodka tonic was the determined prerequisite. Ireturned to mingle with other press types when I noticed Malachi simply taking the whole of me inwith curiosity‟s blank stare now confirmed. I was careful not to allow his capture my gazes, or atleast I pled with Eros; if he wasn‟t too busy elsewhere. The transformation arrived and left me no choice. Everything about me as womandemanded attention‟s full accounting; it involves that syzygy earlier articulated. “Damn it, Olivia!”I swore. I was returning to the personal side of my purpose here. “Don‟t let go of professionalismonce seized,” I beseeched myself. 39
  39. 39. The supper bell rang. Everyone found their assigned chair. Mine was situated betweentwo faculty members, both males. Mother remains the only privileged female to have ever walkedthis Great Hall as a member of the timeless Paris Faculty on Theology. Naturally, in quick order, supper conversation turned to Mother and Poppa and their1960 deaths. I explained Jack and Alaina Noelle led me to interview with Hubert Beuve-Méry,which in turn accounted for my arrival in Paris at the beginning of August. “I thought I had been assigned a lackluster first assignment,” I confessed. Mother‟sfaculty colleagues hinted otherwise. First, the Parisian scholars advised the faculty considered her amost valiant reporter by the passion of her questions today propounded. Her dinner companionsthen acknowledged, “Your Mother‟s pride fills this room; we are sure her spirit shares our tribute.Surely, she will be in your heart as you write your article covering conference affairs.” At the moment those words reached my comprehension, I was staring at Mother‟s faceon the wall opposite my current position. I always found a truth in Mother‟s eyes; a truth seeminglynow pointing to my purpose to be here at this point and time to carry forward an importantmessage from what would otherwise be considered by the global stage to be obscure proceedings.“Yes,” I inwardly admitted, “Olivia Cachet Marcel will author this confession; Malachi‟s thesis willbe considered by Francesca and Monsieur Beuve-Méry for printing in Le Monde—ÉconomieMondiale.” My creation would vindicate a sustained Marcel presence on the planet; one forged bymy parents in France and America. As I returned to Mother‟s portrait for supporting affirmation, it also gave me pause tofondly remember the passion Poppa lived in the way he loved Mother. That thought connectedme to other conference realities. 40
  40. 40. I revisited Malachi’s unending stares during the cocktail hour; the way they heated mypassion for loving beyond reproach. He took inventory of all my female assets. “For one night’spurpose, Malachi?” I silently questioned. Between Mother and Gran Mama I knew my virtue tobe secure; at least that’s the case I would plead to the jury. That consideration in hand, I searched the zenith of the horseshoe shaped seatingarrangement to find Malachi seated next to Professor LePage at what could only becharacterized as the visiting dignitary’s table. At once it seemed his stare transfixed.“He’s staring at my breasts!” I shockingly admitted. Knowing the perfection of my cuppedbreasts urging Egyptian blue definition I had to admit I understood his interest. My figureaccentuated the fabric’s lustrous cause. Accordingly, I didn’t find myself to be victimized by Dr.Jones’ unyielding investigation. I returned to my own dinner companions as a reprieve against resurfacing romanticinclinations. I asked, “Tell me what you remember most about Mother’s contribution to theParis Faculty on Theology.” The one to my right was the authoritative voice; the one on the leftdefined the “Yes Man.” “Surely you know, Olivia, your Mother’s ability to articulate the comfort of everyone’spoint of view was not only a welcome relief on a playground full of bullies, it really made hervoice that of a leader among self-righteous, egotistic male academics.” He made me laugh. As I laughed, I turned toward Malachi’s known position at the fortified head table andfound he seemed to be studying my mouth as I spoke. “My lips seemed to be his comfortamidst everyone’s point of view!” I joked with Mother’s portrait. 41
  41. 41. The very thought of Malachi staring at my lips suddenly deflated the humor. Thethought of saying good-bye to him tonight was unbearable; perhaps a separation without promisingwords would be our destiny. That thought welled up in me. I wanted to declare it wasn‟t over. Myheart became burdened with this news; an unrelenting dread in my soul. I considered the adventure of these three days now ebbing toward closure. I realized Iowned his presence. I bought and paid for it with my preparation: Diligent research into thisassignment; shopping for proper presentation, at once breeding professionalism confused withdesire; and, my ritual quotidian, at once rich in dressing and undressing. Indeed, I investedmoment upon moment with unrelenting energy. Sure, I had to finish the article to be consideredby Francesca and Hubert. But, that had written its own existence once Malachi confirmed mysuspicions. Now, I wanted to write an article, a note of personal interest; lest he leave Parisunrequited. At that moment, Professor LePage mounted the dais and accosted the yet activemicrophone. “Ladies and Gentlemen,” he began, “on behalf of the Paris Faculty of Theology,heartfelt appreciation and thanks are extended to Professor Malachi Elizah Jones of theBenedictine College, Atchinson, Kansas for sharing the state of his research and difficultiesengendered by same in his relations with the college and the Church. The faculty also extends itsappreciation to members of the press for attending this conference and propounding wellconsidered and thoughtful questions. We are all made richer in thought and inspiration for all thathas transpired these past three days. Good evening and adieu nos chers amis.” 42
  42. 42. With those words, a flurry of chairs scooted back and the audience collectively rose,gathered their things, and fashioned a unified departure from the Great Hall of the Paris Faculty onTheology. I was among them: Notepad and purse in hand, I undertook the herd‟s exit mentality.However, a voice in the back of my head gave me pause for thought: “It‟s now or never, Olivia.” “But, do I have the courage to fulfill my heart‟s urging consequence?” I gave back myquestioning reprise. The voice continued: “Listen to your heart, Olivia.” I then realized the voice wasemanating Mother‟s portrait. It was the Fullerton women‟s manifestation. No matter the ethics under consideration, the daunting environment, or my ownfoolhardiness; a resolve beseeched me. As I approached Malachi to bid adieu and farewell, theroom began to shrink. It wasn‟t a suffocating contraction; rather, it was one born in focus. Theroom suddenly became irrelevant; leaving the only thing of consequence: Olivia Cachet Marceland Malachi Elizah Jones. I must have surprised him. Surely, he must of thought I suddenly appeared at his sideout of nowhere; not plainly comprehending my purpose. But, then, I saw it in his eyes, too. Theroom was shrinking on the same grounds as it had performed for my benefit. He turned to look atme. As if a natural cause in the Garden of Eden, my right arm reached up enlacing his neck, mywords filled the night, “Good night, Malachi,” and my lips kissed his. In moments like this, one takes stock of the entire situation, the investigation for injuriesan enrapturing consequence. Accordingly, my body sank into his; searching for the welcomingrepose he would offer, a repose cast in love confused by a primal heat sweltering more genteelromantic considerations. Comfort was the defining moment. The room was totally irrelevant tothe crusade of a lover‟s cause: Listen to the confession. That‟s all a woman can do at such amoment; she can only listen to the confession completely and sensuously. 43
  43. 43. It seemed several moments transpired; as if timekeeping be an unnecessary regimen.Then consciousness beset the spirit lost and I reluctantly agreed to release Malachi from thepresence of my demands unyielding. He agreed, but only to a certain extent. He allowed only a modicum of distance;intimate space remained invaded by masculine breath descending upon my nakedness nowundressed. He whispered, “I will stay in touch, Olivia. I hope we have purpose for seeing oneanother in the near future.” He whispered this all the time staring directly into my eyes; eyes nowjuxtapositioned just out of blurred range. His gaze was deep and penetrating; just as I had wantedthe whole of him. I prayed he would impale my extant existence. I believed his words to be a sincere and unequivocal utterance as I adopted a relaxedpoise in his continued embrace. Then, a sudden deliverance beset my syzygy. My lips were on fireto again reach out to touch his. My breasts, unified in a woman‟s prevailing cause, connected thetriune with crowns now electrified. Needless to say, my oneness with the Seine was a certainrealization. I don‟t remember riding the elevator down or who was in it. If Malachi was present, Idon‟t remember. I don‟t remember whether my possessions held safe the whole time or not. Ivaguely remember the doorman opening the taxi door for my benefit; saying, “Adieu,Mademoiselle Marcel!” The key fit in the apartment door I believed to be my own. “It must be,” I thought, “thedoor opened.” “Certainly,” I considered, “I must live here.” To say the least, I existed in a fog. Iscarcely remember getting undressed and allowing my nudity the luxury of the Egyptian cottonsheets. 44
  44. 44. The only matter of consequence was clear. I continued kissing lips. I consumed hismasculine breath caressing my breasts, satisfying the dispensation of the once velvet mound oftufted dark hair between my legs. Again and again he confessed his love by his touch; reminiscingthe purpose of man on this earth. Although I knew he wasn‟t physically connected, he continuedto propound dreams of sweet promise fulfilled. I fell asleep realizing, “Olivia, you fell in love witha man by uncontrolled invention and unchallenged destiny.” “Fell in love?” I asked myself,“Where did that come from?” Someone turned off the lights.Monday Morning in Francesca‟s Office The rudeness of the sun bouncing radiant upon the Seine forced me to deal withMonday morning‟s arrival. I never used an alarm clock; I relied on nature‟s invention. That‟s notwhere the rudeness ended, however. I woke up with a love hangover; demanding of myself why Iallowed my behavior. “Olivia, what got into you?” It was a question requiring no answer. All of a sudden I was sick inside my entire frame; it was as if a ton of bricks had foundmy existence its noble cause. The realization of what had happened to me was deafening. NeitherMother nor Poppa could be proud of their darling Olivia under such circumstances.All I could think of was getting to the Le Monde offices and confronting Francesca and Hubert;Hubert what with his charade of fatherly concern. I will give them a piece of my mind as well as myresignation. 45
  45. 45. My Blueberry wrapped my frame and kept me protected from the Parisian morning windas I exited the taxi at the entry to Le Monde‟s headquarters on Place Vendôme. I rode the elevatorto the fifth floor, three floors below the suite of executive offices. I thought I would stop here first;then ascend to Hubert‟s sanctuary. I strode forthrightly to Francesca‟s office. The door was open and I was invited in uponrequest. As it turns out both Francesca and Hubert were sitting, enjoying morning coffee. Hubertrose to greet me as I entered the room; Francesca extended her hand and said, “Congratulations,my dear. We received news this morning from Professor LePage that your questions this eveningpast were brilliant, the talk of the conference. Your participation in the conference is applaudednot only by the Paris Faculty on Theology, but Hubert and I as well.” I didn‟t need to think about translating what I was going to say to them from English intoFrench; I think in French so I can speak in French, even when my tongue is on fire. “How couldyou?” I demanded. “You set me up to be romantically seduced to achieve your desired result” Ieven demanded of Hubert, “You even invoked the name of my parents to reach your unsavoryresults.” “Hubert,” I said in unequivocal terms, “I resign. This is despicable. My parents wouldnever ordain such affairs.” Surprisingly, while Francesca sat aghast at my tirade visited upon her well coiffed ass,Hubert was a bastion of forever-calm demeanor. “My dear Olivia,” he began in his customaryfatherly assurance, “calm down. Please sit with us and allow us to help you review what you haveaccomplished.” 46
  46. 46. He began by saying, “Olivia, if you will hear me out, I am quite confident you will realizeyour parents would be quite proud of your achievements in your first assignment.” “First, you mustrealize you are part of both your Poppa and your Mother,” he said unequivocally. “Your Poppa, aman who was not only the great Chef Concierge at the Hôtel Ritz Paris but the leader of the FrenchUnderground movement against Nazi Germany all the way up and until his departure with hisfamily for America, would admire your work in this conference.” “Jesus Christ, Hubert,” I exclaimed, “what are you saying? My Poppa, Henri MichelMarcel, was the Parisian leader of the French Underground when Germany invaded France in1940?” “Of course, my Dear Olivia,” he humbly recounted, “this you did not know?” “No, Hubert.” I said as I sank into a chair. “Yes, my dear,” Hubert continued. “I personally knew your Poppa during this time as I,too, served the Underground. Your Poppa was my revered leader. Understand, child, it was notmerely Jacques Noelle who introduced you to my office. I loved your Poppa‟s courage and yourMother‟s unswerving support of our cause. You are here by the grace of their invention and not somuch your resume. The resume we can build, the stock of such courage is most difficult to find inthis now complacent world.” 47
  47. 47. Hubert continued, “I asked Francesca to give you this particular assignment. YourPoppa and all of his followers, including myself, came to believe the Church had a nefarious handin the two great wars. We believed it to be inextricably tied to secrets the pages of scripture had yetto divulge. So, when this Professor Jones‟ controversy arose, I called my friend and formerUnderground colleague Professor LePage of the Paris Faculty on Theology to arrange thisconference and to invite the international press. I did not want to bias your thinking, yourreporter‟s vantage, the virtue endowed by your esteemed parents. That is why I did not explainthese matters in advance to you. Both Francesca and I were extremely confident you would study,investigate, and discover what you are about to write in your article.” I looked over to Francesca; a loving smile filled her face. As a woman, she must haverealized why I straightforwardly confronted these matters. A woman‟s virtue and meaning ofexistence antecedes her wants and desires. The stage must be cleared of debris before the curtaincan be raised so the play may go on. She was nonplussed by my tirade directed to Hubert, as washe. My understanding remained their motivation. “Are you telling me, Hubert” I asked with equivocating displeasure, “it was not part ofyour plan to have Professor Jones come on to me to seize my senses with romantic bribery?”Hubert and Francesca collectively laughed, smiling the entire time. “No my dear,” Hubert resolved. “Professor Jones has no clue what Le Monde‟s interestis or is not in his research or his troubles with the Vatican. We are just seizing his misfortune tofulfill objectives dating back to the great world wars and your Poppa‟s Underground leadership.”“If anything romantic happened between Professor Jones and you,” he continued smiling, “that isthe fate of the gods arriving with a blessing on your doorstep.” 48
  48. 48. Hubert admonished his conclusion uncertain: “Be assured, my dear Olivia, the souls ofyour parents would never allow any improper influences be cast upon their daughter in the halls ofthis newspaper, not as long as I remain its Director.” “Based on what Professor LePage recounted regarding your questions this evening past,we are confident your first article about this American Midwestern debacle will be the beginning ofunraveling the Church‟s nefarious role in the two great wars of this century; and, perhaps beyond.”He sagely advised. “We would like to print your article in the Sunday, October 21st edition. Thatmeans you must submit it to Francesca for editorial review by Wednesday, a mere two days fromnow. Is that deadline practical for you, my Dear?” His final question didn‟t require much thought. “I‟m nearly done with it, Hubert. I shall have it on Francesca‟s desk by Tuesday eveningat 5 p.m.” I contributed. Inwardly, I realized the noble cause placed in my hands had my parents‟ purpose inliving endowed upon its scrolls. I was nearly finished with the article. Its conclusion will accuse theVatican of knowingly misrepresenting its first pope is the same Peter described among the NewTestament‟s printed pages. That Peter served a metaphorical role in the explanation of scripture‟snotion of impossibility-resolved individual and societal well-being. As I retired Monday evening, I allowed Malachi and his masculine breath to proximatemy body. I did so nightly. If only he would reach out to me. Chivalry demanded he make the firstproper query. Reluctantly, like the princess sequestered behind castle walls, I waited. 49
  49. 49. Finale The article was printed, as Hubert promised, on Sunday, October 21, 1962. It was thebanner article in Le Monde—Économie Mondiale. The headline read: Peter, the Vatican‟s FirstPope a Fraud? Francesca told me that Le Monde edition, worldwide, sold more than 300,000extra copies of the Sunday paper. On Tuesday, November1st, my secretary, Jenny, brought a bouquet of roses into myoffice, holding an accompanying note in her left hand. I opened the note. It was actually a telex. Itread: Congratulations on article. Stop. New Year‟s Eve. Stop. Rainbow Room New York City. Stop. Dance until the New Year. Stop. Yes? Stop. Blue or Brown Eyes? Stop. Malachi. Stop.“Why is he asking you whether you have brown eyes or blue eyes, Olivia? He kissed you anddoesn‟t remember? How romantic can that be?” Jenny‟s questions came one after the otherbefore I could answer them singly.I laughed. Now it was my turn to be motherly in the Fullerton nature: “No, my Dear Jenny. Itsimply means he was looking into my soul when he kissed me; so the gods denied him superficialdeterminations. It means he wants all my nights; not just the lusts of one of my nights.” Send areturn telex advising it‟s a date. Give him my New York address and telephone number and tellhim I‟m a brown-eyed girl. Then book a flight leaving Paris on December 18th and returning toParis on; well, Jenny, leave the return open. I will set it myself when I get to New York.” 50
  50. 50. I then considered how fortunate it was that I learned ballroom dance at The Brearley. Ihadn‟t shared that tidbit with Malachi whilst he was at the Paris Faculty on Theology; irrelevancerelieving the need to impart. I will have to shop for a New Year‟s Eve gown. “I must visit trusted Parisian venues onthe Right Bank‟s Boulevard Haussman: Galeries Lafayette, at number 40, and Le Printemps, atnumber 64.” I considered. I then allowed the luxury of nights unfolding in Malachi‟s arms. Mother‟s voiceresonated: “Gran Mama was right, Olivia.” The End 51

×