King and I (1)
Dick had gone out for lunch, leaving me and Margaret in the railroad apartment that was the Triangle Productions office. Standing alone in my part of the flat, in what had been the dining room, I could hear Margaret shuffling through papers in the filing cabinet in the room overlooking Superior Street. I cleared some debris off my chair, kicked my shoes off and threw my tie on top of one of the heaps of books and paper that covered my long wooden desk.
Someone knocked on the door and Margaret went to answer it. There was a silence, and then she called out, “Franlk?” I sighed, got up and shuffled over to the archway that opened onto the living room. A solidly buiIt man in a brown coat smiled at me from the landing, crossed the threshold and held out a hand, which I took. “Dr. King,” I stuttered. He laughed and said, “Martin. Call me Martin.” He was alone except for a thin, sharp-faced young man who followed him in the door, hauling a heavy black briefcase. “We were in the area, Frank, and I thought we might stop in and interrupt you,” Dr. King said, hanging his coat over the back of a chair and straightening his tie. “Have you met Andy Young?” I shook hands with the younger man. I fished around under the desk for my shoes with one hand while I tried to stuff my shirttail into my trousers with the other.
Giving up on the shoes, I motioned the two of them into the room we still used as a sort of living room, pointing to a pair of chairs facing a sofa. I sat down on the sofa. I knew it was my turn to say something, but I just looked at Dr. King, waiting for him.
He was about my height, but he was not as stocky, which is to say he was not nearly as big a man as I’d guessed from the pictures I’d seen. He looked about the same age, too — nearing forty. His presence filled up the room in a way that I’d never seen before and haven’t seen since. It was the kind of presence that’s made up of understatement.