I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think that they will sing to me.
-T. S. Eliot
Kelly Gaffney couldn't catch a cab to save her life. She was stuck somewhere on the lower east side after an interview, it was beginning to drizzle, and her ability to get irretrievably lost less than a stones throw from her apartment was nothing short of legendary. Her brother had found it absolutely hilarious that despite living in Oak Grove her entire life, upon receiving her drivers license she could spend forty five minutes trying to find her way home from the store. That ability had carried through college, law school and on into New York.
I watch the way Tracey paces in her office, mapping out her arguments. The way her hair falls over her shoulders and slides through her scarves. The poised moments just before the first bite of dessert, when I yearn for something just out of reach, leave me aching and dreaming of chocolate smooth and spicy. I drown in her voice drifting on the low waves, only to crash on the rocks of awareness. I keep telling myself… It's a work place crush.
The light burned out a circle on the desk reflecting off sheet upon sheet of yellow legal pad as Tracey tried to keep the defense at bay. The closing argument scattered across her desk just didn't feel right, this jury had been particularly tricky and her heart wasn't in the argument. Her mind drifted, spun in eddies, only to dash against the same stubborn inconsistencies.
Tracey sighed, as the door creaked open. Kelly lingered in the shadow of the doorframe hesitating, caught in silence waiting for the attorney's sudden upward glance. Tracey buried her head in an out flung arm bowed over the desk, Andromeda on the rocks.
Knocking lightly against the door, slowly Kelly crossed the room, holding her notes before her like an offering.
"Are those from the Maxwell case?"
"Rodriguez interview." Kelly answered. I've never seen her looking so adrift among this sea of arguments and notes before. She's always so sure of the course.
"I'll look at them in the morning. Then we can prep for Maxwell." Tracey stood stiffly pushing off of the desk she had spent too many hours at today, yesterday, as she would again tomorrow. "And indeed there will be time." She murmured gathering the argument such as it was together and adding Kelly's files to the stack.
"Don't forget, Branch wants to see us before the arraignment tomorrow." Kelly tucked her damp hair behind her ear, as she reminded Tracey, and turned to the door.
Tracey watched her go.
"Oh and Kibre, get some sleep." Kelly's parting remark was fired from the door.
She radiates like a clear day. Tracey smiled. And this moment lost like a thousand others, full of vision and revisions.
Tracey sat in the dim blue light staring at the vodka gimlet in front of her, a golden trombone solo washed over her, she grimaced slightly at the clear cold bite of the first sip.
"Nothing like returning to your roots Kibre." She raised her glass in salute.
This was her favorite seat at the Foundry; she could see the door, the bar, and the stage. Here no one could sneak up on her. Unlike this afternoon, she could see them coming; and there was the music, pulling at her soul teasing her with the play of chaos and order. She drew her finger through the water ring on the table bisecting it again, and again. The ice shifted in her glass…frozen, She had frozen …in court.
Kelly thinks I don't know she watches me. That I can't feel the cool blue weight of her gaze skittering down my spine in the court room, or catch the side ways twinkle through hair like the only patch of sunlight on an overcast morning. Oh Tracey, there you could drown.
Kelly Gaffney stared at the sign out side her window, the neon glow reminding her of the stars invisible from the city's half deserted streets. She traced the edges of the casement lightly caressing the cold metal, she'd been transfixed by the momentary break in the order of Tracey Kibre's soul.
But should I have the strength to push the moment to a crisis, and face that it could shatter among carefully caught regrets.