Saturday, June 15, 2013

Lawyer Wonderful and The Killer Kid

I like to look at everything in the office (inspect it like a child with an ant between her forefinger and thumb) the x-rated Chinese porcelain statues, the authentic scrimshaw, jeweled clocks and 12 foot fishing pole.  I put my nose right up to them, those mysterious objects (the marble arab with a bronze turban, law books, metal figurine of satan fingering an angel, stuffed talking shark bean bag), and look at them this way, then that way, every chip of paint and speck of dust, just to make sure they're just the way I left them every year before.  I never touch them, they are sacred in some way that I cannot describe.  I just look, with my nose millimeters away, close enough for my eye lashes to brush aside those specks of dust, if i was not careful, which I always am.  I just look, and only when Lawyer Wonderful has stepped away, he has never caught me inspecting such sacred things.  The photographs of his teeny bopper girlfriends in 1960 something, he's told me a million times, his wives, Toughy and The Ayatolla, all those fish, he holds them proudly next to Hattian men in far away lands.  I look once a week, sometimes twice if I'm lucky and there's extra work to be done.  I make my rounds of them all, slowly, carefully, methodically, marking each like a clerk taking inventory, then I listen for the latch across the hall, footsteps in the hallway, and scurry to my little orange chair with a towel across the back and old newspaper clipping about coast guard murders and the dangers of cigarettes no doubt, he left them there for me years ago.  My fingers fly across the key board, ten little birds skillfully pecking away.  I don't need to use the mouse any more.
"Killer kid?!"
Ctrl+P, click-click-whirr-whiz.
"I was waiting for you." I say. The pages float to the desk in front of him. He picks them up, absently adjusts the old foam visor, a teal blue that has faded with his hair along the years so that I imagine them akin in my memories, aging together.  Lawyer Wonderful and his teal blue tennis cap.  Neither exists separately to me.  After a pause he puts a pencil down and makes a mark, asks me what word I think is better, debates what we are really trying to convey to the client here.  Then, sometimes immediately, sometimes after some time he sits back.  Something we have wrote calls for a memory and he pulls out a page from somewhere in his mind.
"Killer kid," he says, and points out the window, "Certainly you know about Hell's Gate?"  I shake my head no.  "The Busking Sailor, someday she say's I''l sail around the world and she doesn't know Hell's Gate!  Well let me tell you, Oye-ya-ho-hoo, those currents…" I grin, he's told me a million times.  More million times than the teeny bopper girlfriends in Brooklyn, more million times than the scrimshaw collection and history of the musket in the corner by the fishing pole.  More than the story about how they took the door frame off to get the globe inside thats an exact (exact!) same model as the one in the presidential office in the white house.  More than the stories about Rabbi Goor, Cousin Dan and the adventures of Zeze and Bolivar.  But really if you count them they're all the same.  All one story, blended and weaved into one.  Our own secret mythology in the office.  Lawyer Wonderful is king and I his dutiful scribe, Killer kid.
"Alright!" he finally says, scooping my paper back up again.  Whether were still on the currents of Hell's Gate or migrated to a debate over using heretofore twice versus following once, doesn't matter anymore.
"I'm ready." I say with the same comfortable grin, like well worn jeans, favorite sheets.  He tosses the pages back, they float just as when I floated them to him, I scoop them with the same sweep of my arm.  I catch the old printer with my hip on the way to my computer room and clumsily catch it before it falls, this happens three times a night.
"Oh no!" he says, "She's destroying the office again!"  I laugh while walking away, settle in that orange chair, then let my fingers fly like ten little pecking birds again.
It's gonna be a long night.