Senator Specter: Didn’t it cross your mind … that your evidentiary position would be much stronger if you had made some notes?
Anita Hill: No it did not.
Senator Specter: Well, why not?
Anita Hill: I don’t know why it didn’t cross my mind.
Senator Specter: Well, the law of evidence is that notes are very important. You are nodding yes. Present recollection refreshed, right?
Anita Hill: Yes, indeed.
Senator Specter: Prior recollection recorded, right?
Anita Hill: Yes.
—The Clarence Thomas-
Anita Hill Hearings,
October 11, 1991
Inaudible. Tinny laugh. “Don’t get mad, now. Maybe I’m being too childlike or idealistic but the last thing I am is manipulative. All I want to do is clear the air.”
I hereby affirm that the person whose words I just wrote down while pretending to work and ignore him, and whose actions I intend to note insofar as I can see while feigning inattention and writing fast enough to keep up with his lohgh lhoggohr shit what a stupid word to pick under this kind of pressure his blabbering—I do solemnly swear and state that this person is one and the same Mr. Barry Sloat, co-worker and subject of Contemporaneous Notes Parts 1-85; and further I avow that this, Part 86, commences on October 6, 1995, 3:45 PM, when Mr. Sloat made known his presence in my office doorway, whereupon I once again made Standard Warning Statement (as per Manual, p. 5) in conformance with EEOC Anti-Entrapment Guidelines (Attachment to Part 1) and then wrote down what he said, contemporaneously with his saying it. By the way (chance here to squeeze this in while Mr. Sloat pausing for dramatic effect enjoyed by him alone), I also attest that I am not type of woman who normally uses “shit” as expletive, but crossing it out now might look as if I have something to hide.
Mr. Sloat resumed talking few seconds ago but only telling au pair anecdote again (#4: see Appendix A, Full Versions of Au Pair Anecdotes He Tells). Heeeeere’s punch line! and braying self-infatuated
Please excuse preceding intemperate digression, Your Honor or Whoever will read this. Now I missed stuff, blah blah up to “so everything I said before is a classic con, and you’re smart enough to see right through it, sit there working oh so brilliantly with your brilliant uncompromising brilliance, which don’t get me wrong is exactly why I respect you and not these other pathetic cheese bitches—“ Not sure that can be what he actually said. Now lost more stuff, sorry, up to “outsmart yourself. Nobody’s for real, right? The whole world is a fraud? And this makes you what? The perfect pigeon for another guy coming along with an emotion-based pitch you’re too lonely to resist? Do you ever relax? Now let me ask you a question. Your favorite color is burgundy.”
Mr. Sloat staring expectantly. I glance at my watch (3:53 PM), then up at him with discouraging frown (from list of Nonverbal Body-language Terminations of Interaction, p. 6 of Manual). Can feel Special Agent Victor Cortez shift position slightly in hiding place under my desk, evidently impatient for me to keep Mr. Sloat rolling without enticement, and I here acknowledge that I understand Enticement as defined in US Sup. Ct. Snake v. Plissken, and agree to abide
Mr. Sloat rolling, blabbetty-blab, old material from before, had a hard year…divorce…would I hide $100,000 in cash in my apartment… dislikes anti-Semitism… feels threatened by me because told me about secret $100,000…would I cover for him if he stays home from work—oh sure, Sloat won’t be in today, fell down stairs cleaning his gun—excuse me, Your Honor or Whoever, but really, although I agreed to take notes one more time, to supplement Agent Cortez’s soundrecording, copying down whatever Mr. Sloat says has component of involuntary complicity that is SICKENING, and since he just repeats self I would prefer to use this time and space for higher purpose.
First, I recommend that Agent Cortez get commendation for offering to handle intractable situation and conducting self impeccably even today in position of what must surely be intense physical discomfort crouched between my legs. Although he has personal relationship with my family going back to 1968 when my brother saved his life in Laos, Agent Cortez volunteered to help me without making long-winded speeches or using US Government supplies. On his own time, he coordinated our Dream Team, which will undoubtedly perform to his high standard. They too should be singled out for commendation:
*Col. Cameron R. Ryan, USMC (ret.), former Pest Control prosecutor, Parris Island. Thank you, sir!
*Mrs. Constance Kolowicz, FBI field agent on pregnancy leave. Hungry for action—and here’s hoping she’ll see plenty of it today!
*Father Devlin Paul Monahan, SJ, Prof. of Ethics, Notre Dame University. Initially retained as a consultant, Father showed up in such prime shape that he also became the team’s fitness trainer.
*Josiah Lucien Belvedere, Minister of Defense. One hundred and ninety pounds of power and mental alertness.
*Det. Lt. Samuel Mohr, NYPD Bunco Squad. An expert in human nature, Sam recruited John Doe for us.
*John Doe, stoolie now in Witness Protection Program. Interesting guy. Back in 1987 he helped Sam on a high-profile case against bilko-artist Stuart. Van Cleef, who then made verbal threat to “get” Mr. Doe some day. Van Cleef is still incarcerated, but photos in which he bears a slight facial resemblance to Mr. Barry Sloat are being used to churn up and refocus Mr. Doe’s paranoid impulses. We’re all keeping our fingers crossed that Mr. Doe is about to achieve a therapeutic purgation.
*Jonny Forty, sound engineer. Bruce Springsteen most generously revamped his entire studio schedule so Jonny could fit us in while mixing Tell It to the Boss (in a workplace, Jonny reports, where women are worshiped to such an extent that
Uh-oh, my assistant, Ms. Karen Dickinson, just came to door—could wreck everything. Ms. D: “Excuse me for interrupting, but Mr. O’Gross just asked me to get him coffee when I had just gotten him coffee. Which seemed kind of weird. So I was just wondering if it seems weird to you.” Now Mr. Sloat starts to tell her au pair anecdote—don’t know which one, cut him off. Self to Ms. D: “That’s in the Manual, Karen, page 17, Appropriate Intervals Between Refreshment Requests.” Ms. D: “Oh.” “I’m making a note of it. You make a note of it next time and O’Gross’s days are numbered. But it has to be a contemporaneous note, which means right while he’s talking. Like the way I’m writing what we’re saying right now.” Ms. D: “Well, but why would he do something like that, though?” “If you give your mind over to that metaphysical question, you’ll forget to make the note, or you won’t make a timely note, and then you’re screwed when they ask where are your notes or why did you wait so long before going on the record.” Ms. D: “Oh.”
Now she’s gone. Now Mr. Sloat’s body language indicates he mentally reconnoitering his legal position. Meanwhile, I herewith petition Court or Whatever Body to review Manual, which I understand is pragmatic incrementalist tool for setting limits on accurate description of reality but is arbitrarily selective. Now Mr. Sloat, body language evincing empowerment by aforesaid limitations of Manual, takes one, two steps into office, slams door shut behind him, shouts “I am a very angry person!” starts sobbing violently. Sobbing scene always lasts long time. Agent Cortez has read about it in previous Notes, but firsthand experience shocking (my hearsay conclusion based on his breathy sounds, “Whew!” “Sheesh!” and “Pff!”). Also audible, faint crackle from his earphone receiver, indication Dream Team communicating re positions as they break up into assault wedge w/cuffs and net, persuasion unit, and larger backup group sealing elevator/stairwell/cafeteria exits and fanning out to secure corridor/management perimeter. Cont’d sobbing from Mr. Sloat shut up shut up. I apologize, Your Honor or Whoever, that simply popped out.
Back to Dream Team:
*Wes Buddy Clothier, de facto resolution expert, on pro bono furlough from Attica. To get to the point, because I don’t have all day here, this man embodies the human capacity for change. A former notary public who abused that trust, he is now the prison’s paralegal and toastmaster. Agent Cortez (who heard about him from a woman they had both dated under circumstances irrelevant to the events and time-frame of these Notes) got him a provisional reduction of his sentence for Aggravated Menacing with a Notary Seal. In exchange, Wes would persuade my employer to deal with Mr. Sloat through corporate punishment channels, obviating the need for ad hoc special-ops intervention. It’s no reflection on Wes’s skills that he failed, at which point he was reassigned to the team as a warm body. Talk about motivated!
*Mia Farrow. My idea. Although Mia is comparatively small, she works out and is strong. And quite the tactician. A joy to have aboard.
*Richard Shigeta, criminalistics. A student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, he is my hairdresser’s brother. Evidently the Japanese have a code of fierce loyalty to their siblings’ clients, a trait you see sadly little of in Occidentals. Richard has bright new ideas on fingerprinting which he’s raring to test in the real world, starting with Mr. Barry Sloat.
*Skip (pseudonym), mercenary.
*My boyfriend, my brother, and a gang of my brother’s friends were deemed too personally involved and overwrought to submit to command discipline, but have done valiant unofficial duty as gofers, drivers, finaglers, relief, and detailees. Their volatility has been a good reminder that the rest of us are not yet vigilante barbarians. (Some people notably absent from this support faction have families or key social or business contacts that precluded
Sorry, Your Honor or Whoever, this is now not strictly contemporaneous, but the operation went down fast. At 4:45 PM Mr. Sloat stopped sobbing, said clearly “I have a reputation to protect,” then seized my plastic metric-measurements pencil holder and tried to use it as a voice-altering device. Agent Cortez, in whose evaluation the legal threshold had been crossed, gave the signal. The door burst open, and the room filled with gray clouds of fingerprint powder. When the air cleared, Mr. Sloat was gone.
*Security guard wounded in final scene, identity unknown as of this writing.
January 11, 1996