Do the insurance defense attorney’s legs shake slightly as she approaches the bench? 

Is the make of her charcoal suit as good as it seems from this distance? 

Is that cat hair, the light fuzz on her backside? 

Is she aware how exquisite her figure looks, from behind, in that skirt and those sheer stockings? 

That the ruby ring she wears is not quite right for her position in the courtroom, that of a junior associate? 

Does the insurance defense attorney twirl her hair in that neat chignon in a vain attempt to look older?

Why would she, at her height, stoop so?

To disguise her significant bosom? 

Then why the double-breasted jacket?

How did she land a job with such a reputable firm?

Was she at the top of her class, always at home with her Torts book and chamomile tea while her classmates partied at the Ale House? 

Could her father be connected or well-to-do, although the last name is unfamiliar? 

Is she more personable than her tight string of pearls and clenched jaw would suggest? 

To the insurance defense attorney’s left, in the burgundy tie, the infamous former Executive Director of the State Insurance Department, is it safe to assume he is her boss? 

Does he drive back with her from depositions in his black Ford Explorer and place his hand lightly on her knee? 

Does he observe her questioning witnesses and smile at her deft cross-examination while imagining her in leather on his hotel room bed? 

Does the insurance defense attorney know his thoughts and accept them patiently, as she would a flawed watercolor from her favorite niece? 

Which of the cars outside the courthouse is hers? 

The faded red Cabriolet? 

Is she ashamed to park it next to her boss’ SUV?

At the office, does the insurance defense attorney often work late, watching the rush-hour traffic turn to gridlock and then dissipate?

Pocketing the associate meal allowance and gorging herself on free pretzels and Diet Cokes in the staff kitchen? 

Does she sometimes work all night? 

Has the insurance defense attorney awakened at her desk at 5 a.m., her red nail polish chipped, her mouth tasting of sleep and stale coffee, and resumed work on a motion, impatiently pushing away dampness on her face that she did not register as tears?

Does she insist on leaving at a reasonable hour one night a week so she can catch Six Feet Under

Sometimes, awaiting her in bed at night, is there a lanky musician lover, his eyes dark like cut onyx in the candlelight, who silently composes lyrics about her fragile lips as they make love? 

Where did she meet the lover?

In her last year of law school, her class rank already assured, did she begin to spend time at the Irish bar downtown? 

Did he sometimes fake an Irish brogue and play gigs there when he was strapped for cash? 

As an undergraduate, did the insurance defense attorney major in film studies, envisioning a career for herself outside the law?

What drove her to law school, then?

Was the pressure of two attorney parents too much for her? 

Was she at first planning to be a public defender? 

Does she warn her beloved youngest sister, with the Cyndi Lauper haircut, against the path she herself has chosen?

Does the sister laugh and roll her eyes at the musician boyfriend and say, "As if"? 

Is the insurance defense attorney concerned that her boyfriend and sister have more in common with each other than with her now that she is living the law firm life? 

Do the boyfriend and sister, in fact, have more in common? 

Do they secretly meet for coffee on occasion and fret about the changes in the insurance defense attorney’s personality? 

When one of her client’s employees breaks down on the stand, under cross-examination, saying, "I’m sorry. I didn’t know he was required to wear a Kevlar suit," is the breakdown due to lack of coaching on the insurance defense attorney’s part? 

Does her boss sneak a look at the jury box? 

Is the young woman with the red scarf—Juror #10, a Miss Goldrich—leaning toward their side despite certain liberal tendencies that surfaced in voir dire

Why is this case before a jury?

The insurance defense attorney must have lost her summary judgment motion. Due to the damning Kevlar evidence?

What about the possibility of settlement even now, four days into the trial? 

Is the insurance defense attorney seriously scribbling notes on her legal pad to incorporate into closing arguments? 

Will she, with a coy smile, convince the lead partner to take it that far?

Has she come to believe, in her two-and-a-half years with the firm, that large settlements are windfalls that drive up the cost of insurance premiums? 

Is this belief due mostly to the Ping-Pong ball case, where an employee claimed sight was diminished in his left eye after it was struck with a ball when the employee served drinks without being offered protective goggles?

Does the insurance defense attorney’s boyfriend cut out of The St. Petersburg Times editorials designed to sway her back to a more compassionate frame of mind? 

Receiving the editorials, does the insurance defense attorney ball them up and toss them in the garbage as soon as the boyfriend leaves her apartment? 

Does she hum one of his songs to herself as she does it? 

Why, today of all days, would the insurance defense attorney wear a thong or perhaps no underwear at all, when it is so important to look respectable? 

Was she up late, arguing with the lover?

Did he stop by her place, high as a kite, his cheek featuring a bit of someone’s pale lipstick, after playing a gig? 

Could he have said that he would not be back?

The plaintiff's attorney signals the bailiff to cut the lights and then plays part of a videotape already entered into evidence.

Does the insurance defense attorney notice that the plaintiff’s face, on the video, is charred so that his mouth is nearly indistinguishable from his nose until he begins to speak? 

When the smell of her boss’s cologne suddenly seems overpowering, does the insurance defense attorney wonder for the second time that day if she is pregnant? 

Is she frowning, ever so slightly, when the video ends and the lights come up?

When she composes her face for the benefit of the jury, what is the insurance defense attorney thinking?

[Forever after at

Other contributions to this site by this writer include:

The Thing In My Pants

Aroma Of Miss Betsy


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Eyeshot, something having nothing much at all to do with eyes,
is happy to provide the following announcement for the cinematic premier
of an eye-intensive experience, which you are invited to see this sunday evening,
appropriately entitled "StareMaster," about which Rick Moody once said, or possibly wrote:
"The film is about watching, what watching means, and as such, it gets to the very heart of cinema.
It's also very funny;" see below for more information, or simply visit the official StareMaster home.

Will have its New York big screen premiere Sunday April 6th 10pm
at CC Village East (2nd Ave/12th St) as part of the New York Independent Film Festival!

The festival will be throwing an after party and your ticket stub will get you in for free!

StareMaster: The Movie (65min documentary, 2003) dramatizes to absurdity the final night in a
weeklong tour by the StareMaster project—a live-action game show in which combatants
attempt to stare one another down through a barrage of distractions. The action unfolds
in the sleepy Southern town of Pensacola, FL, where the filmmakers follow eight
participants as they compete against one another for the title of StareMaster2002.
With a deadpan sense of seriousness and purpose, the film delivers a
riotous critique of popular entertainment. Without resorting to
heavy-handed polemics, it calls into question the
increasingly arbitrary distinction between
spectators and the spectacle.
For advanced tickets,
click here.

jamie allen, ben brown, and neal pollack
got this going on come friday

whitney pastorek will appear at the little gray book
thing at galapagos on wednesday