Think of the Possibilites

I never watched “Remington Steele”. I was really too young to be interested in the show, and we didn’t watch evening TV at my house, except on special occasions. However, I remember a snatch one episode, from way, way back in the past, that made a huge impression on me, and that I have never forgotten.

For those not in the know, Remington Steele was the show that made Pierce Brosnan a star. It starred the uber-cute Stefani Zimbalist, who was a real detective but couldn’t get jobs because she was a woman. So she made up a fictitious male name, put it on the door, and presto! Business was good. Then a man shows up and says he’s Remington Steele. Hijinks ensue.

Anyway.

I remember this one episode – just a piece of it really – where “Remington” (nobody ever does know his real name) tells Laura (Zimbalist) a story. Laura’s house has just been blown up, and she’s shaken and scared and weepy. So he tells her a story.

He laughs. “Markos,” he says.

“Markos?” Laura questions, thinking she’s going to find out his name.

“Markos Androkos,” he says. “Little man. Neck so short he said it wasn’t worth washing. Black mustache, thick like wire. A big smile with a gold tooth in it right here. Oh, boy, he worked us like dogs, he did. ‘Harder, Xenos!’ he’d scream to me. ‘Work harder! Don’t you want us all to be rich?! Hey? Hey?’” He laughed again.

Laura watched as he moved to sit down. “Markos.”

“Had a little cargo ship- and family that seemed to include half of Greece. Oh, but he fed you well, and at the time, that was enough to keep his name in my book. He used to cram every crack in that ship with anything for anyone, so long as it got him another dollar closer to buying that bloody tanker. Night runs were a speciality.”

“A smuggler,” Laura realized.

“Oh, yes, and a damn good one. Oh, you’d love the party he threw when he finally bought that bloody tanker. Oh, God. Had his tooth all shined and gleaming and polished. Huh. And more food and music and wine than I’d ever seen in my entire life. ‘Drink, Xenos! We are peasants,’ he said, filling my glass for the countless time. ‘But tomorrow-” Steele rises. “‘Tomorrow, eh, tomorrow, we are tycoons, eh?’” Laura laughs at his story, at the little man he’s describing so well.

“And were you?” she asks as he sits beside her, his expression darkening.

“Well, we all went down to the pier at dawn to watch it arrive. She wasn’t out there more than two miles before an explosion in the engine room ripped through the side of the hull – and before we could believe what was happening, it sank like a stone. Since he was twelve, he wanted nothing else. And like that-” he snapped his fingers “-it was gone. No more. The pier became so quiet we could hear each other breathe.” He chuckled. “And then Markos, he starts to laugh. And I don’t mean a nervous titter, but a full bellied, spit in the sky, all out laugh. I couldn’t bloody believe my ears. I was furious. ‘Why are you laughing?’ I screamed at him. ‘Because, Xenos because from now on – everything is new again, eh? Eh? Just think of the possibilities.’” Laura smiles. “Think of the possibilities,” he tells her.

The show aired in September of 1983. I was 15. And that story has stayed with me since.

So remember, no matter how bad things look, no matter what happens, just keep going. And when things are really, really bad -

Think of the possibilities.

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