A man loses his wife and goes on a nomadic soul search embodying the credo: Be the master of your will and the slave of your conscience. Lives and circumstances intersect and intertwine in ways inconceivable and ever mysterious. So goes the harrowing path of diverse creatures.
The cruelest lies are often told in silence. - Robert Louis Stevenson
The rain drizzled down in a fine mist, covering the windows in tiny droplets. In the warm breeze, the tall palms gently rocked in place, following the rhythms of nature's symphony. It was one of the few rains of the short, spring season and from the looks of things wasn't going to amount to much more than a weak threat. So, while El Nino stormed across the Pacific, pounding the islands of Hawaii, here in California the result was nothing more than a light spring shower.
He had just settled down to his glass of Maretti's and the fifteen-dollar Macanudo when he heard a knock at the door. Shit!! Who the—? He climbed up out of his soft leather recliner, and ascended the three steps leading into the expansive, vaulted ceiling entryway.
He walked through the large, glass doors that lead into the central trading area. Around the office, they jokingly referred to this as "The Pit." Here, the deals were made. Deals where the stakes were high. Deals that could potentially garner millions in profit or drive someone to destitution and bankruptcy. Watching the action from a distance, it was hard to imagine a more frenetic scene.
The front line—rows of telephones that handled inquiries— was lit and alive; mouths rattling away like clicking typewriters. Spinning out numbers. Quoting figures. Invoking the name of God or whatever deity may be listening. It was a scene that could be taking place on the floor of the New York Exchange—Wall Street itself. Instead, all of the breakneck pace, caffeine and nicotine induced hysteria were transported cross-country to this building in Southern California—the brokerage house of Kantner, Lincoln and Todd.
As he turned past the front line, into the main broker area, a couple of his longtime associates shot him looks of weary resignation. One of them, Skip Morrison, made a gesture with his hand depicting a duck-like yakking. Jeremy smiled. Evidently he had himself a real talker. Those were the kind of calls nobody liked. Calls from customers more interested in visiting their money than actually negotiating trades. If you want a true picture of the nature of human motivation, spend ten minutes where people have their money at stake. And in those ten minutes, you'll gain details that illustrate man's basic nature more clearly than a thousand doctoral theses.
He arrived at his office and was glad to be there after the events of the last couple of days. It still was unclear to him why the coroner's office kept calling him. Wasn't it as obvious to them as it was to him that they had made a mistake? That the woman they had found on the cliffs was not his wife, but someone else? They should be spending their time locating the real family of this woman, he thought, I'm sure they're wondering where she is. He remembered the conversation he had with Linda, yesterday afternoon. How she sounded so upset. Concerned. Bordering on hysteria. A bad cycle of events that began late Monday evening, had reached across state lines to Arizona, knocking on Linda's door as surely as they had on his. He had thought of going down to the coroner's office, just to prove them wrong. But he didn't have the time for this nonsense. The police are known for their blundering, he thought, And if I wasn't so damn busy I might consider helping them out. But that's what I pay taxes for, let them figure out their own problems.