Something ugly was about to happen. I was sure of it. The room looked like the site of some disastrous zoological experiment involving whiskey and gorillas. The ten-foot mirror was shattered, but still hanging together – bad evidence of that afternoon when my attorney ran amok with the coconut hammer, smashing mirror and all the lightbulbs.
We’d replaced the lights with a package of red and blue Christmas tree lights from Safeway, but there was no hope of saving the mirror. My attorney’s bed looked like a burned- rat’s nest. Fire had consumed the top half, and the rest a mass of wire and charred stuffing.
Luckily, the maids hadn’t come near the room since that awful confrontation on Tuesday. I’d been asleep when the maid came in that morning. We’d forgotten to hang out the “Do Not Disturb” sign … so she wandered into the room and startled my attorney, who kneeling, stark naked, in the closet, vomiting into his shoes … thinking he was actually in the bathroom, and then suddenly looking up to see a woman with a face like Mickey Rooney staring down at him, unable to speak, trembling with fear and confusion. She was holding that mop like an axe-handle,” he said “So I came out of the closet in a kind of running crouch, vomiting, and hit her right at the knees … it was pure instinct; I thought she was ready to kill me … and then, she screamed, that’s when I put the icebag on her mouth.” I remembered that scream … one of the most terrifiying sounds I’d ever heard. I woke up and saw my attorney grappling desperately on the floor right next to my bed with what appeared to be an old woman. The room was full of electric noise. The TV set, hissing at top volume on a nonexistent channel. I could barely hear the woman’s cries as she struggled to get the icebag away from her face … but she was no match for my attorney’s naked bulk, and he finally managed to pin her in a corner behind the TV set, clamping his hands on her throat while she babbled I … “Please … please … I’m only the maid, I didn’t mean anything…”