Legs

by: William Kennedy

Marcus Gorman

Marcus Gorman, an Albany Democratic lawyer and the book's narrator, leads a pretty dull life until he meets Jack. Marcus decides to take on Jack as a client right when he realizes how much his life needs a little excitement. Marcus's attraction to the dangerous aspect of Jack's personality blossoms when Jack lets him shoot a machine gun. Initially uncertain about handling a weapon of mass destruction, Marcus does not want to let go of the gun after he pops off a few rounds. Enchanted by the gun's lethal power, Marcus finds himself living on the edge vicariously, through Jack. Marcus lives a vicarious sexual life, too, ogling the bodies of Alice and Kiki.

Later, when Marcus carries Jack's money on the way to Europe, he starts acting like Jack, seducing and making love to an anonymous woman. By being close to Jack, Marcus feels a rush of the electric energy that he sees even in the way Jack walks around. At the end of the book at The Parody Club, Marcus starts collaborating with Jack and his "gangster stuff" and is overcome with a passion that he ends up satisfying through a sudden, random, and one-time sexual encounter, this time with Flossie. Between Marcus's quiet bragging about his ability to win Jack's trials and the boasts of his Jack-inspired sexual conquests, Marcus glorifies himself almost as much as he glorifies Jack. The sexual nature of the exhilaration Marcus experiences as a result of his association with Jack, and the fact that Marcus also appreciates the sex appeal of Alice and Kiki, suggests that Marcus feels some kind of homoerotic pull towards Jack.