Saturday, February 06, 2010


A fee letter is fifteen pages exactly, but the letterhead paper is thicker so Barton breaks it up into two sections right after point number twelve (results not guaranteed) and feeds it into the shredder upside-down.

He used to work nine to five, just like a real job, but he was always tired in the morning. His mom's nice lawyer friend told him he could come in after lunch if he wanted to. He wakes up around eleven now, most days.

It's Wednesday.

Barton slips off his designer sunglasses and settles down at his desk, glancing briefly at the box by the door with the usual scribbled instructions sticky-noted to the top: "scan, then shred."

Putting on the iPod he got for his last birthday, he glances out the window and then starts work. He's glad for the window in his office. He doesn't like turning on the lights; it wastes energy.

He's glad it will be summer soon, so that all his old high school friends will be back from college. Maybe he could even talk Kim into filling the open secretary position. It'd be cool if they could hang out or something.

The letter he is shredding was written last fall - the first email the client sent (RE: Moving Forward). A husband was contacting the firm regarding a divorce, though he still loves his cheating wife. He never retained the firm.

In the morning, Barton drives to the cold beach to see the sunrise. It's a cliché, sure, but it's a nice sight if you're willing to wake up early enough to see it.


a fan of marathons said...

I love the subject line: "moving forward" juxtaposed with "though he still loves his cheating wife." You've captured perfectly the ambivalence and self-delusion.

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