Friday, July 11, 2008

A Divorce Story

This happened 12 years ago and it was not my marriage.

No, my marriage went on the rocks ten years ago thanks to a spouse with a wandering eye and a newly inflated ego. But that's a story for another day, preferably when that person quits running for public office. I need to put this other divorce story into a more permanent format, because as time goes by, memories and details dim, and it is the details that give this particular story a pungent flavor.

This other divorce story has to do with a close friend (we will call him "Tom") who went to law school with me at the University of Kentucky. He was a first year student when I was a third year and we first met when I was looking for timers for moot court arguments, and he happened to fall in my gunsights. 3d years can really be persuasive with first years. Then post law school I dated a good friend of his and so our friendship deepened. I went off to Europe two years later to obtain an LLM in International Law and eventually after his graduation, Tom clerked for a federal judge, and left Kentucky for Tulane where he studied and received an LLM in Maritime Law.

I moved to Seattle in 1981 and worked for a private law firm doing asbestos defense litigation. Not my favorite gig, but it was a job and it made an entre for me into the then rather tight world of Seattle law. Now part of my cases had an admiralty component tied up in them, so I looked Tom up and gave him a call at the firm where he was practicing maritime law in New Orleans. One thing led to another and two years later, Tom and his wife, Heather, moved to Seattle where he started up with a maritime law firm here.

Things seemed to be going great for them from all outward appearances. Tom became a partner at the firm and they had two children. But, things can fall apart and they did. Horribly in this case. Around 1994, Heather got itchy feet, so to say. I suspected as much, given remarks she had made to me at the time, but I kept my mouth shut in hopes that she and Tom would work out their problems. Unfortunately, they did not, in part because Tom, who was working long hours, didn't have a clue as to what was going on.

Eventually, Heather, who was Treasurer of the elementary school PTA where her kids attended, started an affair with the President of the PTA, George, a security guard and policeman wannabe. Heather had a friend, Tiffany, who was also having an extramarital affair at the same time, with Frank. Tiffany was married to a guy who was the locksmith for the Westin Hotel in Seattle. I didn't know that you could make a living as a locksmith for a hotel, but Jose did. And he was a very nice guy.

Well things were falling apart all over the place and finally, Tom was getting very upset and suspicious about Heather and Tiffany because they were going out a lot together and not really saying where they were going and then covering for each other when they returned. One week, Heather casually dropped it on Tom that she and Tiffany were going for the weekend to Leavenworth to get away from it all and just relax and have fun because things had not been very fun for her at the home front and she was tired of being a stay at home mom 24/7 and she deserved some time away.

So Heather and Tiffany drove up to Leavenworth. Tom was really hacked by this time, and decided to take action. Tom dropped his kids off with Jose, got in his car and drove up to Leavenworth to check out whether Heather and Tiffany were actually staying in the hotel they told him they were at. In fact he found their car outside the NoTell Motel, but he also saw George's car parked outside as well. Tom did not go into the hotel and pick a fight. Instead he drove back to Seattle under a full head of steam and told Jose what he had found when he picked up his kids.

Jose then drove up to Leavenworth and parked outside the hotel. He went to the floor the "girls' room" was on (I don't remember how Jose found this out, but with his hotel experience, I am sure it was not difficult), and let himself in, using his locksmith talents, to a vacant room that was across the hall and two doors down from the "girls' room." Then, with the door of the room he was in cracked open slightly, he called their room. Heather answered. Jose asked for Tiffany. Heather said, "Just a minute, Jose, she's in the shower." Then Jose watched as Heather opened the door to the "girls' room" and went to the room next to that and knocked on it. He silently glided into the hall and stood behind Heather so that when the door was opened and Heather was telling Tiffany that Jose was calling, he could see Tiffany wrapped in a towel with Frank sitting on the bed in the room, similarly garbed.

Tiffany looked behind Heather, saw Jose, and gasped, "Jose it's not what you think it is." Jose said, "Right." Left the hotel, got in his car, drove back to Seattle, and the divorces were underway.

I guess the moral of this story is do not fuck with a locksmith. Or an admiralty lawyer.

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