I HAVE AN ETERNITY AHEAD OF ME
(Intermittent Waves Recorded from the Transformed Heart of a Woman)
Hal arrived at the hospital the next morning with his head floating atop a caffeine and protein powered body, which previously hadn’t been willing to accept going to work. A brisk shower had only relaxed him, making him long for the comfort of his bed. Still feeling drowsy, he had stopped by the little diner down the street from his job, then, phoned in to his boss at The Daily to let her know about his progress and plans for the day.
Breakfast at the diner entailed the Sunrise Special: a copy of The Daily newspaper to read while you’re shoveling down scrambled eggs, sausage, toast and pouring down enough coffee to fuel your body and get it going. It was a cheap meal and remembering back to his childhood, during the Period of Restoration, when a meal like this would have set his parents back a day’s pay, he was thankful for better times.
By the time he arrived at the hospital, it was still pretty early, but he was feeling alert, sharp and ready to dig into some good journaling. He just hoped Tanya Yanovich was still with him.
He and the receptionist seemed to be arriving at the same time. Missing the first revolving door, Hal headed into the next one, unintentionally, at the same time as the receptionist, causing them to become wedged between the doors, preventing rotation. Hal began to push. The receptionist was obviously annoyed at the predicament she was in and appeared to loathe being in such close proximity to his statement jacket, him or both. Hal politely apologized, as she winced and wiggled away from him.
“Oh, I’m so sorry ma’am. I’m not used to these doors. I guess I jumped in a little too quickly. I apologize for the discomfort.”
With a huff and puff, the receptionist seemed to bust out of the doors, thrusting herself forward as she headed for the reception desk.
Hal headed toward the west hallway. Her eyes followed him and began to show panic, as she struggled to get her coat off, still holding on to her purse. Determined to do her job and halt the unapproved intruder who had ignored her mandatory station of navigation and screening, long claimed as her tactical advantage stoop to perch and swoop down on any vermin who dared try to escape her eagle eyes, she screeched down the hall at Hal.
“Wait! Wait…uh… Mister…uh…Mister Seiferd!”
Hal could not help feeling guilty. He knew that by ignoring her, he was going to get her all in a tizzy. He just wanted to push her buttons for no other reason than to see her feathers flying about. He knew he was wrong, but still, it was great drama and excitement to watch. It was a fascinating study in human nature and the effect of power and authority upon the intrinsic instincts of those who thrive on wielding it to dominate, command, and control others.
Hal yelled back to her, “Check your computer! And it’s Siegfried, S-I-E-G-F-R-I-E-D.” By spelling his name out, Hal intended to throw fuel upon the already raging fire he knew he had ignited within her. He began to feel guilty again and realized that these kind of pranks weren’t as much fun as they used to be. He would have to stop. He hoped Miriam Barrett hadn’t forgotten to notify the reception desk and his mischievous plan wouldn’t back-fire on him.
As he rode the elevator to the top floor, he went over the questions he had planned to ask Tanya Yanovich. He tried to prepare himself mentally in case he was asked to leave. At least he had some information to make a few short stories.
As the elevator doors opened to the top floor, there was a surprise waiting for Hal. The two security guards had been waiting vigilantly at the door to the elevator and were now looking down at him, staring at his flushed face. Evidently, they had been alerted to an intruder approaching and were prepared to take him down.
“Touché!” Hal laughingly said to himself. The receptionist had struck back and landed a hit. She had one up on him and she was probably savoring her victory at this moment.
“Good morning fellas! I’m sure you remember me from yesterday. I’m expected this morning. Mrs. Barrett was to schedule me in for today.”
The guard who had escorted him yesterday spoke very sternly.
“Mrs. Barrett doesn’t schedule.”
“Well, I’m sure she told her secretary, uh, Darla.”
The other guard spoke.
“That’s not her secretary.”
Hal could see this was going nowhere.
“Would you please call Darla and ask her about my appointment today?”
As if synchronized, the two guards said, “She’s off today.”
Scratching his head, Hal, couldn’t believe what was happening.
“Would you please ask Mrs. Barrett about me coming today? Please?”
The escort from yesterday went to the desk phone and pressed a button, prompting the other guard to reposition himself in the middle of the elevator doorway. Little did he know he had nothing to worry about thought Hal, grimacing. He wasn’t about to try to make a break for it, only to be tackled by a heavy linebacker the size of a bulldozer.
Since she didn’t pick up the phone, Miriam Barrett must have still been asleep. Hal heaved a big sigh and shook his head. It was clear that Miriam Barrett couldn’t be counted on to relay messages, make necessary arrangements, or, be available for emergencies.
“Oh, man! This can’t be…”
A half asleep Miriam Barrett came shuffling down the hallway in her nightgown and robe, mumbling with her head down.
“Yes, yes, what is it Steven? What’s going on? Is my aunt alright?”
Miriam reached the elevator and looked up, shocked to see Hal.
“OH, OH, Mister…”
“Siegfried” One of the guards informed her.
“Yes, Mr. Siegfried! I forgot you were coming! Come in. What are you waiting for? Oh, my, it’s Darla’s day off. Well, have a seat in the sitting room while I get dressed.
Hal side-stepped the guard at the door, who refused to budge and headed down the hallway, remembering where the sitting room was located.
He turned the television on and flipped through the channels to find his favorite morning news program, which he very rarely had a chance to watch. He was just in time for breaking news. Derek Graves, the great-grandson of the formerly impeached President Graves was announcing his candidacy for president of the United States. Hal couldn’t help blurting out loud.
“Wow! This is the missing link. This has something to do with me being here. They want to destroy him! But, why and why use me? Of course they’re going to fight me!”
Hal’s mind was spinning, calculating, speculating and trying to bridge gaps. This story was bigger than he thought it was.
Miriam took a good while to reappear. Her heavy perfume wafting down the hallway announced her arrival, sending Hal into a sneezing fit.
“Good morning, again uh, Hal. Are you catching a cold? Oh, dear, we can’t have that!”
No ma’am, just a little allergy reaction. I’ll be alright.”
“I’ve gone to check on Auntie Yonny and the nurse is in with her now, getting her cleaned up and dressed. So, we’ll have to wait. Tell me, have you had breakfast yet?”
“Well, I haven’t. I’m having something prepared now. You’re welcome to join me.”
Hal wanted to continue watching the news, but didn’t quite know how to decline the offer.
“You know, I didn’t get much sleep last night so I’d like to sit and rest a bit.”
“Very well then. I’ll come back and get you, but, we can prepare a room for you here to sleep if you’d like. Auntie would be more accessible to you during the time she is awake. There’s an office for you to work out of and we’ll get you a card key for the private entrance and elevator. We’ll have someone buy you some clothes and toiletries and notify the chef to add one more person for meals.
Hal wasn’t sure how he felt about all this, especially, someone else buying his clothes. He was very particular. However, not having to face the receptionist again appealed to him. But, did Miriam intend to hold him hostage and try to bribe him into accepting her offer?
“I won’t take no for an answer. We need you rested and in tip-top shape. We can have the doctor prescribe sleeping pills for you.”
Hal waved his hands in protest.
“No, no, no, no! That won’t be necessary. No pills.”
“But, you’ll stay?”
Not seeing a way out, Hal reluctantly nodded his head.
“I’ll need to leave later to go to The Daily and meet with my boss.”
“Fine, we’ll have a car and driver waiting for you. STEVEN!”
If Hal was having any trouble staying awake, it was quickly erased by Miriam’s loud, shrill voice summoning the security guard, who seemed to be putty in her hands.
He had wanted to ask Miriam about Derek Graves, but, she had distracted him and taken over the conversation. He was going to have to watch that. She was quite a dominating personality who liked to control people. Surely, she knew about Derek Graves’ announcement today and was trying to avoid the subject.
All of a sudden a dark feeling came over him and he wondered if he should accept any type of gift or service from Miriam and Tanya Graves. Perhaps, he was already in deep water over his head and it was time to start swimming back, but was there still a safe shore to swim back to?
Tanya was in rare form for a dying old lady. Hal wondered if they were giving her amphetamines, then, decided the stimulant drug would be too hard on her weak heart. This woman just seemed to have a strong constitution when it came to work. She had a mission to accomplish before she died.
She greeted Hal with a slightly lifted hand. It appeared that she was showing visible signs of increasing weakness, but, she was putting up a fight to hang on a little longer.
Hal checked his voice recorder and then, set it on top of her blanket. She was about to start when Hal interrupted.
“I would like to get started by asking you some questions first, if you don’t mind.”
Tanya moved her head from side to side and lifted her hand signaling for Hal to begin his line of questioning.
“Tell me about Devin Monroe. Where did he come from?
What was his role in the campaign? And, how much did he know about the Russians?”
“Well, my father considered himself to be the crowned King. I saw Devin as The Crowned Queen. He started out as an advisor and overseer from one of our benefactors, The Mad Hatter, who was connected with the Alt-right movement and Breitbart, where the Queen reigned from.”
“By, The Mad Hatter, you mean Tex Tiledeler?”
“Yes, the bright and famed one. He was one of our major donors who moved information and money around. He was a back door.
Was he connected with the Russians? My father was already in bed with the Russians years before he came into the picture. Eventually, everyone in the campaign knew about, suspected, turned their head, or was connected with the Russians, even some key Republicans on the Hill.
Alt-right and Putin had their own agendas and reasons for wanting to weaken the United States, disrupt the political system and destroy democracy, destabilizing the world. It created chaos and flip-flopping. My father didn’t know who to listen to. The Russians had funneled in money too, and were expecting results on the international scene. As always, my father thought he was smart enough to outsmart and juggle both of them, but his mind was failing and he was never as smart as he thought he was, just good at lying and cheating. He was a con man. For years I knew what he was and I knew what he had made me and John.
Everyone was just a pawn for him to use as he pleased. It was ironic that he and The Whitehouse were just a pawn for the Russians to shuffle around on the board to push their agenda. The North Koreans and Syrian governments were a distraction to keep the U.S. occupied and out of the way. Putin never intended to do any good there. The Russians even pushed money to North Korea to create chaos and instability. China helped put on the show.
The Mad Hatter and his daughter, Alice in Wonderland actually helped the situation. She suggested the General for National Security Advisor. He was compromised, she was compromised, the Secretary of State and the Attorney General were compromised, campaign managers were compromised and even the press secretary ended up being compromised to cover up our mess.
The Secretary of State’s main agenda was to set things up for Putin’s plan and set up oil deals for Exxon, while tearing down the State Department.
As you know, The Mad Hatter told us not to staff the government and this went along perfectly with Putin’s plot to weaken the U.S. and keep Russian involvement unknown. With nobody around to check and know what was going on, we could pretty much do whatever we wanted and needed to do behind the scenes business wise.
They would send my father out to the media to make some wild and bazaar statements for everyone to buzz about, while we were virtually destroying the country and robbing the bank. He was Putin’s idiot and court jester.”
“You say that so nonchalantly, doesn’t that bother you the least bit that you were destroying your children’s future, or was it that, being rich you knew they wouldn’t suffer, but, what about other children…like me, who grew up poor and struggling because of you and your family. I lost relatives in the war!
I’m sorry, Mrs. Yanovich! I don’t know what came over me…”
“No, you had every right to say that, Hal. You’re right. We were selfish and insensitive to say the least. I make no excuses for what we did. We stepped into a nest of wasps, which then awakened a sleeping and angry bear, who wouldn’t go back to sleep and had to be put down. So much evil. So much death. So much destruction. For what!?
We were all directly or indirectly working for the Russians, even the Mad Hatter, whose sick nuclear war theories, anti-global warming belief, support for deregulation of environmental laws and little government interference, lined up with Russia’s plans to set the world stage to fill its pockets and rise as a formidable power.
With a weak United States, Russia would come to the world’s rescue, in the event of nuclear war, and emerge as a hegemonic power player on the international stage. Putin would begin to openly call the shots with no one to oppose him, not even China, which they planned to split up, just as they planned to do with the United States to keep it weak; revenge for what happened to the old Soviet Union. Men like he and my father cannot see that they have tunnel vision. They’re pride and vanity blinds them. They cannot see that there are even smarter and more powerful players involved and a higher force not to be reckoned with.
Putin thought that by replacing democracy and democratic leaders with autocracy and dictators under his control, they would once again be a strong empire with Putin as the Csar and supreme leader. They wanted to see our scientists defunded to keep them from catching up to their new discoveries and weapons. They were stealing technology and data from everywhere. They thought they had unstoppable technology to place them above everyone else and give them bargaining leverage. Little did he know what Yahweh can do with a willing vessel in a short period of time.
My father saw himself as one of those dictators with subjects forced to worship him, especially his enemies. He loved revenge and Putin promised it to him as he had promised it to the General.
Then, there was the Crowned Queen who wanted too much power and control. He began to make trouble and risked ruining everything with his crazy white supremacist, anti-Semitic extremists group. He threatened John and John said he could take The Mad Hatter’s money and his crazy website and shove it.
John and I told dad that The Queen needed to go because he was interfering with Russia’s plans by trying to push his Alt-right agenda first and failing. There were good things that I saw we had time to do for the country and the world. But, The Mad Hatter, his family and associate’s money had bought into the presidency and The Queen had been part of the package deal. They were running things more with our Russia connections being exposed.
My father’s ego was bruised, making him act out in bazaar ways that we had to cover up and make excuses for. He was a man led by jealousy and pride and The Queen’s rise to fame and power had aroused both inside of him. I moved into the West Wing when things began to get really bad. We were under investigation and he wasn’t holding it together too well. John and I took over a lot of responsibilities and advised him on what to say and do daily, but, there was no controlling him, even with medication.
My father didn’t fear The Queen because he knew the Russians could control him, Alt-right and Breitbart, if necessary, but, they might expose him and he didn’t want to make enemies with The Mad Hatter’s group.
The Red General was gone and there was no real buffer between us and the Russians. We had to play things by ear for awhile. John and I had to keep a low profile because of Feds looking into our businesses. We decided to keep the visitor list secret so couriers could get through.”
“John, The governor, my father’s friend, Mr. Shale, our attorney, business partners, someone who worked for the General, Russian operatives I didn’t know, but, John did.
John was in way too deep. He and my father had been money laundering through realestate and I knew my father would abandon John and let him drown.
When it came down to it, my father was a coward. He could talk about war, fighting and killing, as long as somebody else was risking their life and not his. He dodged the draft because he was a coward. I knew he would never confess to his own involvement in the collusion and his part in manipulating and using me and John.”
“So, you blame everything on your father?”
“No, I guess I did what I did because I loved him and wanted his approval. I knew I wouldn’t be where I was and have the life I had, if it wasn’t for him.”
“But, what about your kids? Didn’t the two of you worry about what would happen to them if you both were convicted of treason and imprisoned? Didn’t you think about them living with that kind of shame and ridicule?”
“John and I talked about it. We didn’t like the thought of it, but, we knew we could rely upon his family if anything happened to us.”
“But, if you really loved your kids, why take the risks of making them motherless and fatherless and not being able to watch them grow up?”
“Of course I love my children!”
Tanya began to become agitated, coughing and gagging, while the machines around her started beeping and ringing.
Feeling like he had committed a crime, Hal froze, thinking, “Oh, no, I’ve done it now. I’ve killed the lady!”
The nurse came running in and Hal quickly moved out of the way. The nurse replaced Tanya’s oxygen tubes with clean ones, adjusted the flow on her I.V., and replaced her catheter bag. After the nurse cleaned her face and gave her water, Tanya began to settle down. Then, she immediately began talking again, as if all that was just part of her regular routine now. Hal couldn’t help but admire her for her strength and stamina.
“But, I was sorry The Queen knew so much and was involved. He was a despicable, slimy snake who made my skin crawl. I hated being in the same room with him and I didn’t like the way he looked at me. I told John about it. I had warned my father about him from the start. I knew he had no real loyalty to my father and was looking out for his own interests. But, Breitbart kept the damaging information on the Democrats coming from the Russians and Assange and The Queen helped in redirecting the money. So, my father saw him as being vital to the campaign.”
The nurse hadn’t left the room, but Tanya obviously thought she could be trusted. Perhaps, she was paid extremely well and had been with her a long time. She observed Tanya and kept an eye on the monitors. When she was assured of Tanya’s stability, she spoke.
“Excuse me, Mrs. Yanovich, but, it’s time for your medication and I would like you to rest for a while afterwards.”
Hal wasn’t sure, but, Tanya seemed to roll her eyes in protest.
“Alright. Hal, we’ll pick up after lunch.”
Miriam was waiting for him to have lunch. She took him into the private dining room, which was set with white table cloth and napkins and a beautiful spread of gourmet food with a choice of beverages. It wasn’t Hal’s usual lunch set-up. Most of the time, he just ate at his desk.
Hal didn’t want to be rude or upset Miriam by talking business during lunch, so, he decided to wait to ask about Derek Graves.
When they finished eating, Steven came in and informed him that the chauffeur had arrived to take him to The Daily. It sounded so strange that Hal had to think about what he had said, before he got up to leave. In no way was he accustomed to riding in limousines to work. What would they think at The Daily if they saw him arriving and getting out of a limousine? He better make his decision, he thought, before he didn’t have any job to go to at all.