Quick Take 6: “Mark”

Much as we first learn of the existence of Valérie due to an offhanded comment, a “Mark” is mentioned early in the story. As with Valérie, that reference to Mark won’t be the last we hear of him….


James is an only child. But he has close friends. By far the best is Mark:

[James] continued as they walked up the steps. “I’m thinking of selling it and moving into the dorms,” he lamented. “I’m eating into my savings here. I can’t work enough and go to school and support it. Long Island’s massively expensive. The taxes are insane.”

As he opened the door, Isabelle looked over his living arrangement. “How long are you here?”

“About three years,” he noted. “I shared a place with Mark before that.”

James and Mark have known each other since elementary school. After college, Mark decided to become a Long Island police officer. Burly and good-natured, he has now held that steady and well-paying job for nearly a decade.


Mark’s life revolves largely around his career. Working on a graduate degree in criminal justice, he sees himself moving up within the department. Such spare time as he has is consumed by a variety of short-term girlfriends, his hockey season tickets…. and a side interest in a tumultuous event in U.S. history:

“Oh, you got the soundtrack,” Mark observed, seeing the new CD sitting on top of James’s player. “I’ve been meaning to buy it, but just haven’t yet. Can never get enough Civil War stuff. Would you make me a cassette?”

“No problem, but don’t you start dressing up also like a guy I know in History,” James laughed from the kitchen. “Vince thinks he’s a Union captain. He’s got the whole uniform. Don’t you ever show up here dressed like Winfield Scott Hancock!”

However, his predictable world changes in a single evening – but he’s sure greatly for the better. Mark discovers himself heading down a totally unexpected path. It takes him to a place he had never imagined he would ever find himself….


Hope you’re having a good weekend….



See related:
Quick Take 5: “James” (Where It All Starts)
Quick Take 4: “Béatrice”
Quick Take 3: “Uncle Bill”
Quick Take 2: “Valérie”
Quick Take: “Virginie”