Illustrations by Aurora Andrews
February may be the shortest month of the year, but this one was moving slow enough to make you check your calendar. I hadn’t had a client since the second week of January, and that was just a standard cheating husband. It took me two hours to figure out he was schtooping his secretary, but I managed to eek out most of a week’s expenses from the missus before she pulled the plug on my sandwich money and went looking for a divorce lawyer. Since then it’s been a few weeks of reading the morning news cover to cover, thin ham sandwiches and paper airplane afternoons.
That’s why Wednesday came hard and happy. No clients in three weeks, and two come knocking before the sugar’s dissolved into my cup of coffee. As a matter of convenience, and for discretion’s sake, I have two entrances to my office. A front door opens onto Essex Street, while across the room, a back door leads down to Norfolk. The people who find me in the phone book usually come to the front; the people who know how to find me, or that know people that know how to find me, come to the back. I could see a lady’s silhouette looming in the frosted glass of the front door, and what looked like a skinny, medium height man stalking the back hallway. I could only let one in, the other’d just have to cool their heels. I keep a folding chair by each door for that very purpose.