Chapter 2 ~ Grandmother Was A Closet Democrat
Mother closed the door the only way Mother could close a door. She grasped the door nob as if it were a fragile vase, twisted the nob as if it were being guided by an adagio piece of classical music. I felt like applauding when the nob silently fell back into place and Mother disappeared. I tossed the blankets onto the floor, and walked barefooted across the marble tile to my bathroom. I’ve heard rumors, that some people do not have bathrooms connected to their bedrooms. I mentioned it once to Mother and she said it was true. Even worse, she said was that many lower class families share the same toilet facilities. When she finished telling me this, she had Nicole bring her gin, shaken, not stirred, to settle her down.
I walked into my bathroom and smiled when I saw the towels laid out, my razor and shaving cream placed perfectly on the counter, and toothpaste already spread on my electric toothbrush. A soft vanilla scented candle flickered on the counter filling the bathroom with an odor that reminded me of a cookie bakery. Mother banished offensive odors from the home years ago. I stared at my reflection and smiled. I was naturally slim, no matter what I ate. I have a personal trainer who comes to the mansion three days a week to work with me in our exercise room. I’m not muscular, I’m just perfect, I thought. I have sandy hair, it’s hard tell if I need a shave. If I wait three days, I can tell. I decided to go for a grunge look. Shaving is too hard, and I don’t want to make this day any more difficult than it has to be.
I opened the door to the large walk in shower and turned the faucet on to hot as hell. I stepped under the shower praying it would wash this nightmare away.
I’ve never had a job, at least not a real job. Work is what Father and Mother pay other people to do. I don’t know how to work. I know how to spell work. What do you do when you work? I might be scarred for life because I had to work. My thoughts were interrupted by Oscar’s voice.
“Martin, you got two minutes before I’m coming in. I can’t afford to lose this job, help me out.”
I like Oscar. He’s the official chauffeur and Mother’s personal trainer. He lives with his girlfriend Denise in an apartment over on Ocean Drive. I wonder if Mother fantasizes about him when she’s having sex with Father. Nah, I can’t imagine she and father having sex. I’m pretty sure she’s frigid and he’s impotent. They’re perfect for each other. When I was fourteen, Mother said it was time to have a talk with Father about S E X. Yes, she spelled it out. When I went into Father’s study, he handed me a book of pornographic photos depicting actual sex scenes. Then told me it was okay for Episcopalians to masturbate but not Catholics. I didn’t tell him I’d been masturbating for three years. What did he think a fourteen year boy does in his spare time? I wonder if Mother is my real Mother. I think Father donated his sperm to a surrogate. Mother would never carry a baby to full term. She wouldn’t fit into her size two clothes, and have to give up tennis lessons and her precious wine tasting parties. At the right time, I’m going to ask her about it.
When I came out of the bathroom with forty-five seconds to spare, Oscar gave me a fist bump. I made my way into the dining room. Mother and Father were sitting across from each other at the ends of the table. Father, dressed in a silk business suit, Ralph Lauren white shirt with French cuffs, and a power tie. He was reading the Wall Street Journal. Mother wore a tight fitting beige dress barely exposing her collarbones. The tight fit was no problem since I’m pretty sure she wears an A cup, although I’m not an expert on small breasts. Her long, boney fingers that looked like they could strangle the life out of a turnip were doing something with the latest iPhone. She tried to raise her eyebrows and stare at me, but the last Botox injection prevented that from happening. Instead, she tilted her chin toward me and said, “Martin, did you forget to shave and wear a suit for your job? Please, promise me you will get your hair styled. It’s staring to touch your ears and curl in the back.”
“But, Mother, my shirt is by Brioni, Tom Ford jeans to go with my Tom Ford slide leather sandals. And, grunge is latest style.”
“It’s a fad, dear. A clean shave and close haircut help to make the man. As for your clothes, I suppose that will do, but your toes are atrocious. You haven’t scheduled a pedicure in two months. I’m embarrassed looking at them.”
The last time I wore a suit was to Grandmother’s funeral. The old bag, that’s my Grandmother Houston, created a ten million dollar trust fund for me administered by the old bag’s lawyer, Jacob Pettibone III, Esquire. She set specific conditions to the trust fund if I were to collect my annual allowance. I had to have a full-time job and work at my full time job for five consecutive years before I can start collecting the money. Here is the real kicker, I have to do it before I reach forty. As of last month, I’m thirty-three, my biological clock is ticking. It may not be a biological clock in the sense that most use the term, but I believe I will slowly shrivel and become half the man I’ve become if I don’t get to use my trust fund. I asked Pettibone if being a permanent full-time student qualified. Pettibone said it didn’t. If I didn’t meet the trust fund requirements, the money all went to save the sea turtles or dolphins or whales. What about saving Martin Sanderstuff I asked him? Pettibone told me Grandmother Houston gave him a healthy stipend to fulfill her wishes.
“Martin? Martin? You have to eat. Stop day dreaming,” said Mother.
I took a bite of my Danish and followed it with a sip of my coffee. I already knew she was going to say, “Martin, let me call Victor to make you a healthy breakfast.”
One, two, two and a half, then, “Martin, let me call Victor to make you a healthy breakfast.”
I looked up at Mother, my mouth filled with Danish and coffee and smiled with my lips closed tightly. She turned her attention to Father, “Father, please tell Martin about his new job. And, then tell him to chew all his food before swallowing it.”
Father, set his Wall Street Journal down aside his fresh squeezed orange juice, lightly browned on both sides whole wheat toast, and scrambled eggs with two slices of bacon. He turned his head a bit toward me, moved his glasses toward the tip of his nose, and spoke as if he were given the eulogy at the funeral of a colleague in the country club, “Mother and I have put much effort into finding the right kind of work for you. We both understand work is beneath a Sanderstuff. God blessed the Sanderstuff’s with substantial inherited wealth because God knew He couldn’t trust the lower classes to manage money. Son, we are God’s angels on earth.”
Father never, ever called me by my name. I not sure he knows it. He’s always called me Son. Now, I’m thinking he didn’t donate sperm, because he doesn’t have any. I wonder if Victor is my Father and Nicole my mother. Nah, Victor is black and Nicole is brown and I’m white, but I’m trying to get a tan. I’m sure Mother, whose pale white skin gives her the appearance of frost on a November morning, was barren. Eggs couldn’t live inside that cold, calculating, desert like interior. I took another bite of the Danish and looked at Father.
He folded his hands in a prayerful poise. “We can’t let all that money slip out of the family. It is our God given burden to be as the lower classes say, filthy rich. Mother Evelyn, always had a fondness for you. The only rationale I have for her fondness for you is you’re her only grandson or you reminded her of an abandoned sea turtle. She always loved sea turtles more than me. That being said, I did inherit the bulk of her 500 million dollar estate. The sea turtle foundation received five million. Therapy dogs of Marfa, Texas, received four million provided they name their center after her. Pettibone told me when she put this in the will she laughed so hard she started crying..”
“What’s a Marfa? I’ve never heard of it.”
“She had Pettibone cut the names of two thousand towns that began with the letter M. She made Pettibone sit in her room and do it front of her. It took him two weeks. She never liked him. She hated his nasal voice and his habit of saying ‘aforementioned.’ But she pays him well. She still paying him, she put him on permanent retainer in her will. She picked Marfa out of pot. Getting back to you, Son, your ten million should be worth forty million by the time you work for five consecutive years. I always thought Grandmother was a closet Democrat. Her will proved it. If I knew she was Democrat, I would have had her institutionalized. But what is done is done.”
Chapter 2 ~ Grandmother Was A Closet Democrat