"Love of Chair," Bloomsday remembers. That was the name of the mock soap opera on The Electric Company.
He scans the crowd of legal elites attending the gala. He sees no sign of his ersatz confidant, nor his arch-nemesis. "...And what about Naiomi," the mock announcer intoned.
He makes eye contact with a few key players, a humbled waive "hi." His boss is engaged with his labor problems. A politician not yet touched by scandal, but possibly worried, sits sifting through mashed potatoes.
The grande dame of federal court escorts her legendary lawyer husband to the bar.
"Hey, Bloomsday!" his fellow advocate whispers from behind. He turns around to find Cherry Osgood, looking inebriated. "I just saw Judge Fuckitty-Fuck picking her nose in the ladies' room." Bloomsday happens to respect and admire Judge Fuckitty-Fuck, but knows that Cherry holds a grudge.
"I just straiffed past a prosecutors' table." Bloomsday confesses.
Us poverty advocates are lowly people, out of our element in high society. We have an even more peculiar affect around legal high society: the rich lawyers. They dismiss us as proletariat. I respond that they are bourgeoisie. There is certain common ground among us. The Constitution, for example. The rights of all citizens. "I ensured the rights of 37 citizens, today. How about you?" Bloomsday thinks.
We are both architects of society, I suppose. They clean up loose ends, ensure all parties have their ducks in a row. The fixers. The closers. "Michael Claytons, are we?" We're all dressed like him, tonight. At least I am.
"Status of operations?" Bloomsday asks Cherry.
"Well, no sign of The Problem, but Johnny Ipod Lawyer says he's coming." Higbee Gaines is The Problem. He is one of their deepest friends. Booze and pills used to be The Problem that we all talked about behind his back. Now, he, himself is known as The Problem, personified. He is scheduled to join us at our banquet table, clean and sober after a 30 day stint in rehab.
Just then, with Jungian verve, he spots Higbee entering the ballroom. He's fattened up a it, and looks well in the low light. They make a bee line for each other and hug. "Do you get conjugal visits in rehab?
"Sure," says Higbee. "Daily conjugal visits with my hand."
"Hourly, probably. With both hands. I know if I was in rehab, I'd just gloomily masturbate all day."
"Nah. They keep you busy. Try to help you put a positive spin on things."
"Have you been keeping up with the corruption scandal?" Bloomsday asks.
"Every fucking word." he says. "Priceless."
Bloomsday has not heard this verbal crutch of Higbee's for months. It sounds different when he's sober.
"By the way," Higbee continues. "They also had a Wii wth Netflix. I watched every episode of Kolchak: The Night Stalker and Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries. I also watched most of Dark Shadows, too."
"I'm impressed. And you weren't stoned or drunk for it? That sounds like progress. I presume you're prepared to rejoin the League of Extraordinary Lawyers, again? Your membership dues are paid in full."
"Ready. Prepared." This answer is a reference to an old joke about lawyers. Civil attorneys versus criminal attorneys. Civil attorneys are always prepared for trial but are never quite ready for trial. Criminal attorneys are always ready for trial, but never quite prepared.
"There are protocols for re-entry. You must submit to trial by fire. I have a case I need your help on."
"I'm in," he pledges.
I tell him about the renegade jesuit hobo sitting in sanctuary at the Convent of St. Ruth's. I don't tell him the outlaw priest who needs assistance is clean and sober, too.
"...and what about Naiomi?" Bloomsday poses the question.