Fenno: Memo-random


Fenno stomped into the Hark, chilled to the bone. It was still largely empty of 2Ls extending fly-out vacations through the weekend, and exhausted 1Ls and other do-gooders and failures did their best to fill up the campus. Sunday: the Coop was closed, and it was extraordinarily, creepily quiet.

Fenno stood quietly at the 2L boxes, and heard only one sound. A soft snick-ssh-snick of papers being pulled out of Harkboxes, riffled, and slid back in. Could it be? Fenno silently shuffled across the hall, where she could see a girl glancing around furtively. She was standing in front of Section III’s mailboxes, pulling out memo after memo, methodically checking the comments at the last page of every paper. Fenno watched her look at six or so, moving down the middle column.

Yep, the annual ritual, Fenno thought.

Out loud she said: “Hi.” The girl turned and whimpered, then quickly recovered (law students, Fenno thought) and said, “Ah, here’s mine,” and started reading the one she was pulling out when Fenno had startled her. Fenno couldn’t help it; she had to try. She walked over, glanced at the empty box’s label, and said, “Nice to meet you, Scott Allan Hitbird.” She smirked. Success. She yanked the paper out of her hand, yelling, “It’s the difference between good and very good, you freak!” as the girl ran off, and barely resisted the urge to kick her in the ass as she went by.

Fenno wondered what to do. Go to class? Fenno snickered to herself. No, seriously. She could go home, but that would be giving up for the day. She had come to eat – if she went home, it would be all she did at HLS for the day. On one hand, losing the housing lottery was sweet, because she didn’t have the choice to live in the shithole – sorry, historical landmark and architectural marvel of a shithole. However, the chances of Fenno trekking to campus from Central Square more than once a day were – well, so far, zero. So she felt that she should do more before admitting lazy defeat.

“Hey, Fenno, what’s up?” Mike Lorelli walked up. “You look deep in thought.”

“Yeah, I was thinking how I didn’t give a crap about school now that I have a job for the summer. I think I need some speed or something to go to class. Know where I can get some?” Like a good Federalist Society member, Lorelli maintained an unflaggingly interested look, as though he hadn’t heard her. In Constitutional Law, Lorelli had been off the last few weeks about his martyr-like ethics, which would have, for instance, prompted the abdication of his judges’ robes should a case like Brown v. Board of Ed. come across his bench, lest he have to decide between Right and the Intentions of the Founders. Fenno loved when her classmates posed self-referential hypos, particularly when they were future scenarios involving prestigious legal positions.

“I landed a job at the DOJ, naturally.” Lorelli beamed. “Of course, I’ll have to step down if I would have to do anything moral. You know, so I don’t endanger a judgeship.”

“mmm. Yeah, I hear that’s policy, actually. Going to the Outlaw party on Friday?” Fenno had just leafed through trash to the GLBT dance invite.

“Jesus H. Christ, no. No one would take my Solomon-Amendment-protest protest seriously. Have fun, but not too much.” He walked away briskly towards another upwardly-mobile Federalist passing by.

Fenno wondered if she could bleach the semen and blood (fake and real) off of her Halloween costume for her Outlaw outfit. She had been Roy – and though the velcroed stuffed tiger kept falling off her shoulder, and she had left a trail of sequins between the bathroom and the keg of natty light, the white jumpsuit was definitely a possibility. Some turquoise jewelry, some boots – she’d be a hot cowgirl. Yeeeeeeeeeeeeehah!

“What?” said Fenno to Hashim, who had stopped dead in his tracks in the Hark and was staring at her.

“You just screamed. Like, loud. It hurt my ears.” He walked up and looked queerly at her.

“Cool.” She tried to think of something normal to say. Wasn’t Hashim a Federalist, too? (Fenno was of course assuming the memo-checker had also been a member.) What the hell was going on in here and why did they keep talking to her? She had quit last spring! “How’s the Law Review? I hear The Record has been exerting some tough journalistic pressure…” They both broke into laughter.

“Yeah, they’re forming some committees,” Hashim giggled, making air quotes with his hands. “Something about concerns. The concerns committee. Ha! Due to Thanksgiving, and exams, and the January schedule, and Valentine’s Day, I think the first meeting is in March. That should keep the investigative journalism flummoxed for the year.”

“Yes, it will. But you’re liking it apart from that?”

“It’s easy, you know. I’m getting an A.” He smiled and nodded.

“Say, Hashim, wanna go to the Outlaw dance with me?”

“Um, I need to run that by my Law Review superiors before I take a stand on such a controversial issue. Have fun, though.” His eyes dropped to Fenno’s waist, and he looked up. “Um, Fenno…”


“Why are you holding a 1L’s memo?”

“Um…I.” Why bother? “Annual ritual, you know. I felt a little nostalgic.”

“Yeah, we were really happy to have had you check the memo goods and very goods for our section last year. We were so surprised, after such a strong and involved start with the Society, with the grade-checking and the high pass – congratulations again – that you dropped out. We really miss you. Hey, I gotta run- my friends taped Bush last night. I guess he was actually quoting Walter from Big Lebowski, you know: “Beyond this line you do not cross! We’re talking about a line in the sand here, dude.” I think he was making a brilliant allegory between the San Fran fires and the Iraq frontlines at the time. Bye.”

Fenno waved goodbye, and sighed. How far she had fallen! She remembered those days, so far now, when she too had requested her 74 cent abortion rebate. But now, all Fenno could think about was whether she would have to reglitter the left shoulder of Roy’s jumpsuit. Must be the drugs.

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