Last night I had a vivid dream which has stayed with me. These are the details:
I am seated on a sofa in the corner of a vast office space. There are small desks spread across the main floor. The desks are overcrowded with piles of paper, law books, and old fashioned typewriters. These are the work spaces for the clerks and paralegals actually preparing the pleadings to be filed with the court. Along the sides are offices designated for associate attorneys and junior partners. The senior partners occupy quiet and plush offices on another floor. There is too much chaos on this floor, and the seniors would not want to be burdened with all of that. Though this is a law office, the overall look and feel of the place is a major city newsroom in the 1970s. The glass walls that are separating the private offices from the floor space look like the Daily Planet newsroom featured in “Superman” (1978). The worker bees dress like men and women from that time period, and in keeping with the thinking of the time the men huddled around me on the sofa are sneering at the new crop of women attorneys. The “men’s club” has been reduced to an old sofa in the corner, and the middle aged, fat men in their wide lapels and checkered pants are more than a bit annoyed. I do not share in their prejudice. I feel more like an impartial observer, and the men huddled around me are more like desperate salesmen trying to recruit me into their “men’s club” than actual friends.
A pretty, frazzled woman in her forties steps out from inside one of the private offices. Her face and hair resemble Emily Dickinson, except that her face is a little fuller, and her eyes are heavier from years of burning the midnight oil in a law library. She wears a form fitting, checkered, wool jacket, white shirt, dark trousers, and loafers. The wool jacket in particular looks like something she might wear for the office Christmas Party, except the office is not decorated in such a way as to indicate tis the season. She moves across the floor with the focused attention and the quick steps of someone who wants to get out of there before a colleague can interrupt her. She clutches an oversized law book. A strand of her auburn hair is undone and hangs over the book.
The woman attorney stops at the coffee pot on the other side of the floor. She glares side to side to make sure no one is watching up close. Then she pours black coffee into a cup, removes a flask from her jacket pocket, and tops the warm brew with more than a dab of whiskey. One of the guys in the “men’s club” sees this, and he calls out to her with a loud and derisive voice. He reminds her that this is Monday, and it is too early for her to leave. The other guys elbow one another and chuckle. The woman attorney stands upright with alarm, gulps down her spiked coffee, and walks back to her office with the same focused attention and quick steps as before.
Later, the woman attorney is seated at the open floor desk that faces the doorway to her private office. She is hunched over a file and rubbing a headache out of her temples. One of her law clerks walks up to her. The clerk is a heavy set dyke with a cherubic face and a blond crewcut. The clerk is squeezed tightly inside of a man’s tweed jacket, a white shirt, a red power tie, and a pair of dark trousers. She sports a mischievous grin and a devilish intensity to her eyes that frankly intimidates the “men’s club.” The guys watch her like an old dog might a lion. They keep tabs on everything the lion does, but they also know that they cannot do much of anything if the lion decides to pounce on them.
The woman attorney and the law clerk confer. The woman attorney steps back into her private office, and after snickering at the “men’s club” the clerk follows her. A moment later, the clerk returns to the floor desk. She is carrying an open bottle of whiskey, and with a boisterous laugh she splashes whiskey all over the desk. The typewriter and the files are drenched. The whiskey flows over the side of desk and gathers as puddles on the carpeted floor. The woman attorney returns to the floor desk. She appears calmer now that there is liquor all over her clerk’s workspace. The woman attorney places her elbows on the spilled liquor, picks up a drenched file, and continues to read.
I am in the backseat of a 1970s, black, Lincoln Town Car. There is a woman chauffeur dressed in a sexy, skintight outfit. She keeps looking at me through the rearview mirror. Her eyes are incredibly dark and menacing. Her face is almost Albino white, which when contrasted with her eyes makes them appear that much darker. Her curly, brunette hair looks like a cheap wig. Seated beside the chauffeur is another woman, though I can see only the top of her blond hair. The Lincoln Town Car stops, and a fat Latina in a business suit opens the door behind the driver. The fat Latina takes her seat, and the car proceeds down the road. She looks at me beside her. The flirtatious smile on her cherubic face is so wide that it starts to resemble a carved Jack-o’-lantern grin. I am repulsed, and try to look away, but there is nothing to see outside the window.
The Lincoln Town Car stops suddenly. The fat Latina steps out, walks around the back of the car, opens the door beside me, and squeezes passed by knees. She faces me all the time with that scary Jack-o’-lantern grin of hers. She takes a seat in the middle, so that her sweaty thighs are now pressed up close to mine. She leans her face against my left shoulder, and clutches my left arm. The car proceeds down the road. I glance up at the rearview mirror, and I see the chauffeur’s steady black eyes staring back at me with so much intensity I expect the mirror to crack.