Friday, November 9, 2012

Abogado Imaginario

Can you see me now?

"If you want help, see Tom Swiffer," they all said. "Tom is the best. I'd stake my life on him. Totally reliable."

Tomás is his real name. He's an attorney.

Also a plumber and pumpkin grower, and he drives a cab, as I found out.

But the law is his first love.

Show him a law and he'll cuddle right up to it. He'll swoon. He'll bellow. Or no, he would bellow if he weren't such a naturally tidy little fellow.

Being a tidy little fellow, with him it's more of a delicate trill.

Something. Definitely a sound though. Count on it.

Because why? Because one thing you can say about Tom is that he's tidy. Just look at his photo. Do it. What do you see?

You see Mr Tidypants, and that's Tom. Tom behind his desk, computer at the ready near his right elbow.

Tomás. Or Tom Swiffer as we gringos call him.

And Tom Swiffer does no bellowing, does he, only whinnying, or tootling or whatever that sound of his actually is.

So then - have a question? Just ask.

Ask anything, and see what you get.

Nothing, mostly, to be honest about it. Replying to questions is somewhat undignified. Especially if questions arrive by email.

Email is undignified. Tom answers some emails but not others.

A letter, perhaps, scratched out by quill on vellum, should be graced with a reply, inmediatamente, I bet, after Tom has a brief nap.

Because such a letter is dignified. It is traditional. It is normal, and proper, and is what attorneys are used to, in their self-regard.

Not so much for email. Electronic and all, arriving so swiftly as it does, as email does, in its brevity and insistence, through some kind of electronic tube that no one understands.

Perhaps, with email, thinks Tomás, thinks Tom, it is not so good to reply, being so swift and to the point and undignified, and brash and verifiable.

And so he doesn't.

Reply, that is. All the time.

Until the second request, at the least. Because it is what the attorney do, he thinks. What the expensive and important attorney do.

And then, to make a point, in reply, (his), he is brief. So brief. So brief that he says nothing.

And this is after I send him money. A retainer. A retainer because. A retainer because he is an attorney. An immigration attorney. Besides being a plumber and grower of pumpkins, and a driver of cabs, and a cat sitter.

Did I mention the cat sitting?

I do now.

He sits cats too.

Tomás. A man of so many talents, with cat hair on his tie, which proves his uniqueness and depth of talents.

Talents, one of which is not being an immigration attorney.

My fault I guess. I didn't read it right.

Because it's right there on his business card: "Imaginary Attorney".

Tomás Swiffer, Abogado Imaginario (y niñera de gato a tiempo parcial), Managua.


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