Sunday, September 14, 2008

In Sea View

It is now 4AM, and I am dictating outside the police station in Sea View, NJ, about to meet Destiny Blande.

The typical serial murderer sequence is in motion. Before any such arrest, we are introduced to the media’s persona of the killer, delivered between spliced morsels of crime scene reports and police statements. Once a defendant appears, the press has to decide how to retro-fit this individual to their fabricated persona. The accused is invariably viewed via this warped media lens.

The Destiny Blande in my imagination is far from the typically vulgar serial murderer. She is indescribably unique. Despite a profound bias accumulated from years of expertise defending accused murderers, I have succumbed to the media’s serial killer portrayal in this case. Hypothetically speaking, in order to be guilty as charged, Destiny Blande would have to be alluring but dangerous, a candle flame beckoning all to experience the warmth without getting burned.

A Yale Law School professor’s admonition echoes from the depths of my subconscious as I follow signs to Sea View. “Getting too close to your clients is career suicide, and sometimes simply suicide.”

Sea View poses a dismal countenance, even while shrouded behind a cloak of darkness. There is no evidence of a community; no semblance of the resort destination of yesteryear. Amusement ride remnants loom over the boardwalk’s weathered wooden planks and boarded-up storefronts.

I once sojourned to Sea View with Mother upon the occasion of my fifth birthday, shortly after Father’s untimely passing. In retrospect the rides were probably already demonstrating their rusty deterioration, and the boardwalk was in disarray. I never appreciated these flaws as a child, but now the images my memory conjures are worn and tattered.

News vans line the beach parking lots. Throngs of rubber-neckers and glory hounds gather at the police station, lining the sidewalks and congesting the streets. Groups of barbarians are even assembling picnics from their open automobile trunks.

Men in suits wait in linear formation adjacent to the police station. They carry folders and attaché cases and computer bags. Lawyers. Suitors attempting to woo Destiny Blande into selecting them as their defense attorney. They are my would-be competition, but they are squandering their time and effort. I will soon be walking through the front door to claim my client.


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