Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Post 1 - In Which Jimmy Has A Tough Morning


He jerked awake, somehow managing to slam his head against the brass headboard from the lying down position (difficulty degree, 3.2) while still completely unaware of all the W’s – who, what, when and where. When it all came into slow focus, he groaned and wished he was still in the dark.

How could it possibly be 8:30 already?

He slammed the snooze button on his alarm clock, knocking over a three day old half-can of Red Bull in the process and spilling the anti-sleep fuel all over his hundred dollar suede slippers. It was going to be one of those days.

James Brennan sat on the side of his bed, rubbing his face and trying to keep his sleep fogged brains from leaking out of his eyes. He had come home at 4:30 in the morning, thanks to another exciting session of “emergency due diligence” for stupid Martin Alexander – know around the office as Mr. Burns because he had an uncanny resemblance to, well, the evil Mr. Burns from the Simpsons. Acted like him too, the mean old bastard.

Jamie contemplated going back to bed for, say, the next twenty hours or so, but that wasn’t in the cards. He had at least twelve hours of work staring him in the face and if he didn’t get the old patootie in gear, he’d be at work until 4:30 again. So instead of lying back down and drowning himself in goose feather, he stood up, his feet going right into the puddle remains of Red Bull. Yup, definitely one of those days.

He contemplated life in the shower. It was his favorite part of the day, the morning shower, where he could spend a good ten minutes slamming his head against the tiles and question his career choice. James Brennan, lawyer extraordinaire.

He’d been doing it for six years now. Coming out of University of Chicago Law School (Law Review, of course), he’d been a hot property for all the big firms. He’d gone with the powerhouse firm of Sullivan, Powell and Weiss (offices in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, Bangkok, London and Moscow) because, well hell, because of the money, why else? It was all about the money for post-law school Jamie. Imagine a punk like him coming out of grad school and making WAY over a hundred grand a year, plus bonuses in the tens of thousands and working with some of the most important financial institutions in the world. It was a no-brainer really.

Especially if you are an idiot.

So now it’s six years later and look where I am, he thought as he toweled, working on four hours of sleep and staring another late night in the face. And another. Oh, and another after that. Possibly a Saturday too. Great freaking life.

The he was out the door, stopping at Starbucks for the obligatory triple venti hazelnut latte and in the office by 10:15. You had to love living in the city. Sure he spent the majority of his salary on rent, food, dry cleaning and booze - but you couldn’t beat a commute to work in under half an hour in New York. Unless you lived in Queens. But whatever.

He passed his secretary, Ethel Mervin, on the way to his office. Ethel was the classic old school secretary, right down to the glasses on a gold chain around her neck. All she was missing was her hair in a 1950’s beehive. But Ethel was also one of those special people who managed to know every piece of gossip in the entire seven hundred and fifty attorney firm. And if she liked you, she gave you the gossip instead of spreading it about you. No one with any sense crossed Ethel Mervin. Luckily for Jamie, there were plenty of people at Sullivan Powell who had absolutely no sense.

“Good morning Ethel”, he said, “you look absolutely radiant this morning.”

“Morning Jimmy.” Only Ethel could call him Jimmy and get away with it. Ah the power of the snake-like tongue. “My, you look terrible.”

“Thanks Ethel.” He lowered his voice conspiratorially. “What’s the a.m. scoop baby?”

She smiled. She loved it when he called her baby. James Brennan was not without his charms after all. “Well,” she said, her voice set into Stage Whisper font, “did you hear about Mary Beiring and Stuart Caldwell?” I gave her the negative headshake. “Well, it appears the did the horizontal Lambada last week in Conference Room D.”

“They did not!”

“Indeed they did.”

Well that was a very interesting piece of news. Mary B. was a fellow sixth year associate, blond and well endowed, and always dressed slutty enough to attract as much attention as she wanted. And then there was poor Stuart Caldwell, recently divorced - and apparently completely desperate enough to hook up with the firm’s poster child for abstinence. He had to think about how this information would come in handy. The beginnings of a plan were already forming in the evil section of his brain. Maybe this wasn’t going to be such a bad day after all.

“Well Ethel, I must chew on this while I get some caffeine into my system. I didn’t get any sleep last night. Late night and all.” It was always wise to have several good exit excuses with Edith or you could easily lose half an hour of your life.

And with a flourish, Jamie was in his office, door closed, and ripping through the two dozen emails he'd received since four that morning. Another beautiful day at Sullivan Powell baby.


Blogger Sara with NO H said...

So vivid. Great piece of work...I'm really impressed.

7:41 PM  
Blogger MC Aryeh said...

Excellent start, Elster. Some of your best writing, ever. Will be a tough act to follow...

12:06 AM  
Blogger Teacher Nat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:04 AM  
Blogger ~ Sarah ~ said...

Great start! Excellent writing!
I look forward to reading more!!

(that last post that was deleted was me, accidentally forgot to sign out after someone else was using my computer for blogging! oops :s )

4:06 AM  
Blogger Elster said...

Thanks guys! I have to say, I was really worried about this post. White Shoe is supposed to be witty first and good second. I have never tried to intentionally write anything funny before so I wasn't sure what was going to work or not.

MC - I have absolutely no worries about Post 2.

7:28 AM  
Blogger Lvnsm27 said...

Excellently done. looking forward to more

2:35 PM  
Blogger bellanny said...

makes for a great read at 8am monday morning with my eyes still glazed over from decreased sleep after waking up at 5:30am

6:01 AM  

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