[If you have not already done so, you must
read the Introduction
For §§ 1-110 (Chapters 1-18), see here.
Revenge Should Have No Bounds 112
Chapter 19 (2 of 13): Trial – Phase One
What to wear, then? He always starts with the shirt, after underwear, of course, which comes on first. He enjoys good quality and is willing to pay for it, and J Press and Ascot Chang shirts are among his favorites. They’re generous with the cloth and wide with the cut, and the material they use holds the colors well through many laundering cycles. He likes wearing button-down collars, which are always non-starched, on monochrome or wide-striped shirts, but on those with white collars and colored body he prefers the collar a bit higher, what he thinks of as American Edwardian. Today’s damask white triggers the selection of a correct tie: a conservative, muted red-and-black striped affair. He loathes ties that try to be ‘funny’ since they are never ‘funny’ but simply silly. What is he, a clown? Cuff links are not a big deal with him – too fussy — but he’ll wear a simple tie clip on occasion and, with the right collar, judiciously, a collar pin — though, again, that borders on the fastidious.
Next socks, and slacks. Informally he favors Dockers or general chino or corduroy type pants, or, if he wants to be more up-scale, Cerruti or Ralph Lauren charcoal or light gray slacks. Possibly even Hugo Boss or Armani. But today it has to be pure power-dressing all the way: a Navy blue three-piece Brooks Brothers with suspenders of a subdued cast. A simple but authoritative belt suits him just fine, black, perhaps dark brown, but, in no way, that fake (or real) alligator schlock.
To be frank, he’s not all that interested in shoes, but realizes they’re part of the full package. Some of his favorite brands are Avventura, Mezlan and Cable, and they’re all very highly polished when he puts them on. He definitely wants them to squeak when he walks. Needless to say, today is not the occasion for a more loungy feel in footwear, and he pulls on knee-length black socks.
He does not ever wear rings or jewelry, of any kind at all. A small pocket in his vest holds a thin, golden pocket watch attached to a fob and chain sporting a polished Phi Beta Kappa key.
Depending on mood and weather, he’ll put on a hat, and prefers the formal kinds with a fairly wide brim all around, either light tan or black. It is July, and he will need no overcoat.
Bulging valise under his arms, he quickly gives himself a final once-over in the mirror and, yielding to that foolish vanity he consistently deludes himself into imaging he lacks, actually winks at himself. His feet do a quick shuffle of self-approbation as he says, softly, “cha-cha-cha.”
His transportation, a brand new Lincoln provided by the city’s grateful tax-payers, awaits him in front of a red fire hydrant at the entrance to his apartment. It is gleaming black, as is the chauffeur.
“Good morning, Mr. Kerzy, sir,” the driver says, touching the bill of his cap and holding the door open to the air-conditioned interior.
“Good morning, Bob,” the DA, egalitarian servant of the people, responds.
They quickly meld into the morning traffic and roll smoothly toward the court house.
Kerzy flips out his cell and calls the central security desk at his destination. It is a terse conversation, but he issues quite specific instructions for his imminent arrival, his entrance on the stage, as it were.
As the well-known Lincoln with plates DA-1 pulls up along the curb and Jeff Kerzy alights into the brutal heat, the mass of shouting reporters turns into an amoeboid blob, dribbles down the courthouse stairs and, putting forth its enveloping pseudopods, surrounds Jeff Kerzy in its digestive vacuole. Before he is egested, he is forced – lucky guy! – to hold an impromptu news conference that, he appreciates from the many foreign alphabets decorating some of the mikes now being thrust so rudely into his already perspiring face, will be satellited around the globe even before he can reach the trial chamber.
“Please, please,” he says, evoking high seriousness in the forward tilt of his body language as well as the gravity of facial gesture. “Ladies and gentlemen,” he pleads, feigning the chagrin of defeat despite his sternest efforts, “please!” Once he is bathed in the glare of a dozen television lights and assured that half of humanity is watching him, he says, with a quick smile “Let me make just one statement. That’s all.”
Then he orates.
“Today the people have serious business at this courthouse. We have an immigrant, a legal immigrant … ” he hastily adds, underscoring the magical adjective, only too aware of the public’s wearied outrage at the nation’s incompetent and corrupt policies for dealing with illegal immigration, “ … a legal immigrant from Viet Nam who has been brutally murdered in this city.” Not a precise statements of the facts of the case, but never mind. He sweeps on. “The people have a very strong case. We are confident that justice will be done and that we will be successful in gaining a conviction for first degree murder. These kinds of murders will not be tolerated in this city.” As opposed, one is perhaps meant to infer, the hundreds of others that never generate the current hysteria. “The murderer will be punished to the full extent of the law.” He cranes around, noting in his peripheral vision that courthouse security is starting down from the top of the long flight of stairs to liberate him. Right on cue. “Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.” His voice is still graciously modulated. “That is all I have to say.”
The jostling reporters seem to encircle him in an ever tightening ring that is not without a minatory glint.
“Now, please, please let me through. Please, ladies and gentlemen!” This time Kerzy means it.
He is now looking around desperately to see if he can locate where the security people might be.
The microphones are a nest of swaying cobras that insist on his full attention.
“Sir, can you tell us something about the evidence you have against Ms. Cape?”
“Sir, please, is there a love triangle at the bottom of this case?”
“Please, sir, who is Yukiko and what is her relationship to Ms. Case?”
“Sir, there are rumors that Trinh Cao was a lesbian. Any comment? Sir?”
“Who is Aspasia? Sir?”
Three burly security officers finally wade into the frenzied mob and, artfully employing elbows, body nudges, and dirty looks, silently escort the D.A. to safety and whisk him up the stairs into the cool halls where the people’s justice is to be done.
“Fuckin’ animals,” he mutters sotto voce about these quondam co-conspirators in his recent campaign of global self-promotion. He brushes imaginary dirt from his wilting suit and, his glistening face wreathed in disgust, heads straight for his office, where he goes and stands in front of an air conditioning vent and allows himself to be dried and otherwise cooled down.
TO BE CONTINUED