Mars or Bust!
Chapter 7: Sharmaine and Le Foundation

Copyright© 2021 by GT Dodge

Olgu cut over to a series of interviews she’d put me through about the stuff I did for le Foundation. It was just a job. She mixed and matched little episodes to make me sound important for the Anniversary Special. I’m not special, I was just there like the rest of us. The only thing I ever had that was special was all wrong. I should never have married Linc. He was an addict to Mars! Mars! More Mars! He wanted an enabler. Instead he got me.

But not for long. My Mama put her foot down and told me it was over, “Never throw good money after bad, Sharmaine. That Linc may go broke or he may make a million but he’ll go broke on Mars or make his millions a million miles away from any place to spend it. Tell yourself it’s over. When you believe it, then tell Linc.”

For the longest time I wouldn’t believe it. But I knew it, all along. Linc’s life was always on Mars. Or on the way to Mars. No place for Sharmaine.

“Linc, it’s over.”

“I know.”

“That’s where the ‘or Bust!’ comes in, right?” Was I ever wrong about that.

Somewhere inside the foundation, hidden away, Linc and his engineers went from Point A to Point B.

We even say it that way. Point A to Point B.

Linc was busy all the time. I never saw Linc. Not that I wanted to see him. All we ever talk about is money.

Johnny got me promoted. (I hated mailing bumper stickers, all those envelopes). Now I see all the checks and prepare deposits. Sometimes I make deposits but that’s too much work. Heavy boxes of thousands of little checks and wheelbarrows full of dimes and pennies, even bills sometimes. We kept telling them don’t send cash. But last year a telethon put Johnny on camera, saying, “After I put the check in the envelope, I always drop in a penny or nickel or two. Why, not? They’ll get more use out them than I will.”

The Foundation picked up on that and ran 10 second spots with Johnny sticking a check and a handful of change into an envelope.

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