The day unfolded along a predictable trail. All work assignments completed in ninety minutes, and it left the college student six hours of free time. This day, betwixt the usual mundane, connived circumstances reverberated within earshot and afforded her an aural glimpse into the scheming side of politics.
She settled in with book by 9:30, culled from a small, corner-tucked library tucked in the old and decaying brick Victorian structure, home to one anonymous family three-quarters of a century earlier. The library boasted ample glass and light, perfect for reading and observation. There she settled, day by day.
Three months earlier, she arrived up-wound and ready for a summer of work, tasked to maintain property not cleaned in a decade. She washed floors, walls, staircases, bannisters, trimmed shrubs, hayed lawn, and made an instant mark. Three weeks of hard effort eased into emptying trashcans and upkeep, duties insufficient for a forty-hour week. She occupied time with reading and occasional chats with the general manager, a tall amiable man, quick with a story.
After 1PM, she made routine use of the lobby restroom, her timing wrong. The lobby filled with the chatter of recognised voices. The people elected the first to run the state, the second to represent them in Congress, and the third, the tall nice man who told interesting stories.
They knew not her restroom presence. Horrified, she sat semi-denuded and bowl-ensconced, fearing revelation from movement.
Outside, the three concocted a plan. The television station and campaign manipulated comment timing. As envisioned, the chosen candidate would speak last before the special election to resolve the closest race in U.S. Senate history.
Later, she told family and friends. When the station celebrated an anniversary three decades later, she debated sharing the story and demurred. A felon bore witness. Yeah, right.
(Author’s note: By now you’ve guessed this is in fact a true story, from August, 1975.)