MARCUS. Think about it. Anything hidden? What can you find?
I changed the “C” to a “K”, then I separated the syllables.
I came up with MARK US. Can this be his statement from beyond the grave? I know that sounds eerie, weird even, but I want to believe that it is.
What that says to me is that he had a destiny and a role to play in his short life, much as Terri Schiavo had a destiny and a role to play in her life (which I’ve gone into extensively elsewhere.)
The death and life of Marcus, much like Terri, bookended within its boundaries a message for all of us, about the plight of the helpless and the unrepresented and the unprotected and the defenseless and the dispossessed and the abandoned.
There was a play by J.B. Priestley about such a person, a girl who was so helpless she killed herself. I was in it once. He called it “An Inspector Calls” (the inspector was played by Sir Cedric Hardwicke in my production). It dealt with how, in the death of this person (she too was not a relative, but a worker for a family), every person who knew her denied involvement in her death. And Priestley set out to show how it was NOT so. How everyone she knew was very much a part of her death.
And so it is with Marcus – and Terri – and the society in which we live. We all had a part in it, and it is for all of us, in our quiet moments when we look inward instead of outward, to examine our consciences. Where does our responsibility lie? Is there anything we could have done that we didn’t do, or did NOT do that we could or should have done?
Most people are on the fringes of involvement, and shrug off true involvement by volunteering money or labor to charitable causes because it makes them feel better. Among those that are not, that work and interact daily in the front line, are the lawyers and the judges and the justices. They are the ones who can actually, with rigorous determination, DO something. And the final determinant of whether they are effective and fair is to be found among the legions of their “victims”, a word I choose to use with some insight based upon my experiences with the non-criminal courts. They are the truly abandoned ones.
The idea of the feeling of abandonment is something that has haunted me all my life, ever since I was left in an English boarding school hundreds of miles from my parents and my London home without the capacity to understand that they were helpless to do otherwise due to the blitz and the war in Europe (the fate of wartime evacuees in England in ’39/40, deep into mass enuresis, and a circumstance that was stupidly ignored by the makers of The Chronicles of Narnia that could have set up the movie and given the escapism some meaning.)
Little three year old Marcus was REALLY, LITERALLY, abandoned. Much worse, he was left in isolation, hands bound behind his back, only the sounds of people and traffic outside, a whirring fan, unbearable crushing heat, hunger, and thirst. Truly forsaken, with no power to consider the meaning of his fate because of his age. Just raw suffering and sheer terror. And with his last gasp, came his merciful death.
We cannot ignore the message, HIS message. DO something for some helpless ones, big and little; don’t just TALK about it. We need to let him know that we hear him, hear his cry, which speaks to us like the ghost of Hamlet’s father.