Long Cold Winter: Chapter Thirty-Five

Matt and Sandra sat in the waiting room at the clinic where his doctor usually saw him. He’d never felt the need for private physicians or even private schools. they were just excuses for ignorant rich people to separate themselves from the masses and not have to witness the hell that everyone else had to fight through. Ad it seemed that wealth made people less intelligent. Perhaps it was the constant pursuit to have more that made them lose all awareness of the truth.

But Matt had never been part of that. His drive had never been to be rich. It had been to be happy. And he had known a long time ago that happiness is not found in the emptiness of money.

No, true happiness was found in living as a part of your surroundings.Being a part of the world that was around you. And he was ready to reemerge from his self-exile to experience that world again.

Yes, he was a wealthy man. Hell. It would probably take several lifetimes to spend all that he had made. Even after his misuse, spending some on alcohol and drugs. But what had been spent had been a mere drop in the bucket compared to his full worth.

And that worth had gone up when the company rose to prominence. Success, it seemed, was always drawn to Matt. He had what people referred to as the Midas touch. Everything he did turned to gold. But, then, he loved what he did.

“Matt, Sandra,” The nurse’s voice brought him out of his thoughts, “Doctor Morris will see you now.”

He rose and motioned for Sandra to follow. She did. The two of them followed the nurse back to the exam room. She smiled, took vitals, then slipped out of the room. Now they waited.

Matt suddenly remembered why he hated visiting the doctor. Seemed like you had to wait an eternity to see him. Even after going back.

He looked over at Sandra. “You nervous?”

She smiled. “Nope.”

He smiled back. “Neither am I. I already know the answer. I see me in you. I don’t need this test to tell me that you are a part of me. I just want you to know that. This isn’t for me. It is for the others. I want them to know.”

She looked at him. “You know that you will have to do several more of these if there are more like me.”

He looked at her sideways. “More like you?”

She realized how that sounded. “I meant more children that you were not told about.”

He allowed the smile to return. “I knew what you meant. And you are right.”

Doctor Morris entered the exam room. He was a tall, thin, balding man in his late forties. “Matt? You ready?” Matt nodded. “Roll up your sleeve, then.” The doctor turned to Sandra. “And you, too, Missy.”

She did as she was asked. Then waited. She watched as the doctor drew a sample of blood from her father’s arm, then capped it. She watched him as he put a cotton ball onto the pin prick, then wrapped the insta-bandage, that stretchy bandage they now used, around his arm.

The doctor swabbed her arm, then looked at her. “You’ll feel a little poke.” But she had already known that. She watched as he drew the sample, then removed the needle and capped the sample off. He did as he had done to her father, placing a cotton swab and insta-bandage around her arm. “There. All done.”

Matt looked at the doctor. “How long will it take to get the results?”

The doctor smiled. “No more than a day. Do you want to wait for them?”

Matt shook his head. “No. Have them delivered or fax them to me.”

The doctor nodded. “I’ll have Marti deliver them when they are ready.”

Matt smiled. “That’ll be fine. thanks, Doc. This isn’t for me, understand. I already know. It is for the rest of the family.”

The doctor nodded. “I don’t need the results to know either. I know one of yours when I see them. And she is definitely yours.”

Matt chuckled. “You ought to. You’ve delivered enough of my children. Hell. I have brought them all to you to get their shots and checkups.”

The doctor nodded. “I delivered the last three. And you make them sound like puppies, but yes. I have given enough vaccinations to your children and helped them through enough bouts with colds and flu to know them intimately.” He looked over at Sandra. “Welcome to the family.”

She smiled self-consciously. “Thank you.”

The doctor smiled, then left the room. Matt got up and motioned Sandra to follow. “It’s lunch time. Are you hungry?”

She suddenly realized that she was. “Yes.”

He smiled at her. “I am breaking with tradition. I don’t usually eat out, but this calls for a small private celebration. Chines? Italian? Mexican? Anything but sushi. Never did care for raw fish.”

She smiled. “Me either. I have heard about several excellent restaurants here in L.A. Have you ever eaten at Spago?”

He grinned. “Yes. A long time ago. Back in the early eighties. Wonder if Wolfgang Puck remembers me. Is that where you want to go?”

She nodded. “Yes.”

He opened the car door for her. “The Spago it will be.” He climbed into the driver’s seat and started the car. He turned to her. “What is your favorite genre of music?”

She sat silent for a while. “I grew up listening to your music. All of it. The rock. The pop. The R&B. Mom would have listened to jazz if you had put it out. I really do not have a favorite. I like it all.”

He smiled at her. “But I did record some jazz. It just wasn’t as popular as the rest. I played a bit of everything. But I doubt your mom had everything I’ve recorded. Hell. Even I don’t have it all. I don’t have rights to most of it. I was just a player, not an act. I had right only to payment, not to the music. I am on damn near everything from the late sixties on. I was ten when I started in the business.”

She sat in silent shock. Had her mother known all this, she had never let on. Sandra had known that her father was a legend. Just not that he had such a long and storied career. She bet he knew everyone in music.

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