Thank You, Goodnight by Andy Abramowitz Read Online (FREE)
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THE VIEW FROM THE DISCOUNT RACK
You don’t need eight words to set someone’s life on fire. One seems like more than enough. But in my case, it was eight.
The cryptic text pinged from Sara’s phone onto mine just as I was taking to the sky. The flight attendants, annoyed at us before we’d even taken off, had just commanded us through harsh smiles to neuter our electronic devices. Concealing my phone beneath a vomit bag, I reread the message.
“Your legacy is hanging in the Tate Modern.”
Instantly irritated, I fired back a pageant of question marks. Sara’s timing meant eight hours of me staring out at the blackness of the North Atlantic, ruminating on this distracting message from my girlfriend instead of the work that awaited me in Dublin. I could never sleep on planes, certainly not while sharing an armrest with some decrepit bag of bones who was either dead or sleeping with one eye open, and now here was something else to keep me awake. When I landed, it would still be the middle of the night back in Philadelphia, which meant more hours of waiting to find out what Sara meant.
My legacy was hanging in the Tate Modern. Jesus fucking Christ.
In my previous line of work, a lifetime ago if not longer, I’d found Dublin to be hospitable, even welcoming of the happy ruckus that always accompanied me. Back then everyone welcomed me. Those were different times. Now I was almost completely someone else. Better rested perhaps, although the mirror in the airplane bathroom reflected otherwise—a miserable ghost, with bags of defeat hanging under my eyes. If I was any whiter I’d have been Mexican folk art.
* * *
The labyrinthine highways of life had somehow made a lawyer out of me. I’d never been particularly happy about it. To add insult to injury, for my latest assignment, I’d been dispatched to Ireland to take the deposition of some credit manager for a bank. I didn’t know what that meant other than that over the course of one interminable day, I was to sit in a conference room, a videographer’s microphone clipped to my bourgeois Brooks Brothers tie, and quiz some poor knucklehead about securitized financing transactions that neither he nor I had the vaguest interest in. This required preparation. What I needed to do upon landing was hunker down and immerse myself in loan agreements, guarantees, credit default swaps, a rotting forest of e-mails, and other documents of financial audacity, and then gin up several hours’ worth of questions to hurl at this paper pusher who, as far as I could tell, had committed the unpardonable sin of doing his job.
But here’s the thing: preparing for a deposition is about as exciting as my washer’s rinse cycle. After about a half hour in my hotel room, I slid into a sweater and headed out.