Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Magic of 2's

I've never been what you would call "dainty." Klutzy, that's me. When I was young, and I would go see my grandmother, first in the retirement community in Bricktown, NJ, and then, later, in the nursing home, it was always the same thing - what? that's what you're wearing? Couldn't you comb your hair? Don't you have a party dress? As I got older, my answers got better - "By the time I was your age, I had a husband," "Grandma, by the time you were my age, you had three husbands."

Grandma wanted me to become a writer, but now, I'm a lawyer - a lawyer who goes to prisons, who can talk the talk as good as any of my clients, who certainly, during a rape case, is hardly very ladylike - I tried a case a couple of years ago now, where the victim truly believed that she was the Pope, that she was born in 1583, and that sometimes, she wasn't the Pope, but she was really Mary. When the police arrived at her apartment, my client was naked, and she was tied up, in a corner, bleeding from an ugly lip injury. My theory, and what I argued to the jury, was that it was S&M gone bad, and that you knew that had to be true because if she thought she was the Pope, or Mary, she could only have sex tied up - resisting.

The jury hung - 11-1 to acquit. And, I know exactly when I lost that one juror. She was the last juror I picked, and I didn't like her right away. She was heavyset, lived in West Philly, alone, and was unemployed - she seemed lonely, and someone who might be very sympathetic to someone with mental illness. On the other hand, she lived alone even after being burglarized several times, and she had a distrust of the police. I had one strike left, and I knew I had to strike the next guy. I took her, the DA took her, I was stuck. It was during my closing that I knew, knew I should have used that last strike on her - I was talking to the jury about the complainant's injury -- that you know it didn't happen how she said it happened, because it didn't happen where she said it happened. The Pope claimed that she had been hit with a closed fist in front of her bookcase. Now, this Pope was a former Nan Duskin model, tall, over 6 ft, with long, blond hair. To emphasize her size, I reminded the jury of how she had showed them her hands, and then I showed them my hands, surprisingly small -- remember her hands, look at my hands - you've watched me trip all over this courtroom, drop things -- if that linebacker of a woman had gone down where she said she had - the whole bookcase would have gone down with her. That linebacker of a woman . . . I lost her. The jury was out five days, one holdout, 11-1 to acquit.

And, now, when I look at my hands, I remember that victim's hands - and you know what erases that?

Knitting on 2's.

I look at my hands, holding the 2's, lightly, ever so lightly, can't knit tight on 2's, the little stitches, the delicate yarn. And those 2's make every clumsy, unladylike moment of my life just unimaginable -- if grandma had seen me with 2's, she never would have asked about my party dress. That big old prom dress with the bustle on the butt? No, that couldn't have been the dress she wore, that tent - her hands are so nimble, knitting on 2's. Is that the girl who dragged toilet paper wrapped around her ankle all the way through Penn State's library? Can't be, look at how she knits on 2's! She stepped on the bride's seven layer train and ripped it as they were walking back up the aisle? Nah, she's so poised, with those 2's. Are you sure she really dropped the cover of the toilet seat at that shorehouse, breaking it into a million pieces? She looks so steady, knitting with 2's. Every spilt beer, every trip into midair on absolutely nothing, the courthouse, the prison, everything, a 6 ft tall Pope -

Gone when I knit with 2's.

Everyone needs a 2 in her life.

1 comment:

michele said...

Hello~ as I'm scanning the SP6 participant list, I glanced at your blog and thoroughly enjoyed reading a portion, you have quite the talent for writing! Good call on not seeking out the newly single man- they have rebound written all over them. Enjoy your day!