The Hazards of Good Fortune, Part XI

Tommy, don’t take this the wrong way, your theory is bonkers. The discovery of infidelity will make a person question everything they believe to be true and for Christine—who craved certainty—that was unbearable. Once completed, the patient, swathed in bandages, lay unconscious in the intensive care unit hooked up to a breathing apparatus, monitors, tubes for intravenous feeding and hydration, and a catheter, attended by a team of nurses. Treats the media with respect. They walked down another hallway before Hartzell opened a door and beckoned Jay inside. You ever been there? He called out, “Carmen, where are you?”
There was no sign of the live-in housekeeper. Eagle was unarmed. “I’m calling to let you know that your cousin’s case is under my purview. SAL: Very bright guy. The two were colleagues. Averting his eyes from the gallery, he complied. Franklin used to love to consume marbled steaks, French cheeses, rich desserts. It hung on him like a tent. Do we even know? He snatched the phone off the cradle on the kitchen counter and punched in Jay’s number. It exasperated Franklin to hear yet another news report about Obama, whose re-election he fervently opposed, and the orange juice situation further irritated him. Franklin had not bothered to tell her about the Asian situation or Jay’s suspicions. “Mr. She picked it up off the floor. Police Officer Russell Plesko was responding to a routine call when he showed up at the scene. To have a story tied up in a bow was a great comfort. She called Nicole, who did not pick up. “Your Honor,” Doomer said evenly, “Mr. There were radio reporters and newspaper reporters, bloggers, and fans. SAL: Definitely. Should we take a call? Second-degree reckless endangerment—”
“We said we were filing first degree this morning,” Pagano interrupted. She was not amused. From having reviewed extensive interviews with witnesses, I will tell you that the officer followed correct police procedure. Watching the SUV carrying Jay Gladstone retreat toward the Bronx River Parkway was a satisfying conclusion to the overture. Theo Bannister (Cornell University basketball, All-Ivy 1980-81). TOMMY: I’m not saying it was rational. The court officer gestured to an enclosed area to the side of the courtroom that held several chairs and indicated Jay should sit down. TOMMY: People do things you never thought they could do. The judge nodded and turned to Jay. He did not want his attorney to alienate the judge. Too upset to eat, Trey and Lourawls had been camped in the airless visitors’ lounge texting friends and relatives and waiting for someone to provide information about Dag. Jay had not thought of Dag in that context until now—a misfortune had befallen him for which he (Dag) bore some responsibility. Jay Gladstone does not socialize with his players. “We heard what happened and we’re very worried.” Hanging up, he glanced at Marcy to see how his performance had played. “We have no idea what his condition is?”
“The doctor hasn’t made a statement,” Van Pelt said. From somewhere behind him, an angular, older gentleman appeared. Usually, she was bustling around the kitchen at this time of day preparing his breakfast, half a grapefruit cut twelve ways for easy scooping of the chunks, and a slice of wheat toast, dry. When Trey admonished him to shut up and let the doctor talk, he apologized and fell silent. What are they gonna talk about? If she had the nerve, it would be a masterstroke. As the most consequential citizen to ever enter her domain, his would be the most high-profile prosecution since a private school headmistress murdered a prominent doctor back in the early 1980s, a case that had fascinated a gawping nation and spawned several quickie books and a made-for-television movie. “Of course, Jay Gladstone has no prior criminal record. “Going to be hard for them to make the playoffs with Dag out,” Pagano offered. It’s still New York sports, okay? “What are the charges?”
“We’d like to introduce initial charges today, Your Honor, and hold off on the others pending the outcome of the victim’s treatment.”
The victim? “For now,” Pagano said. Not that insufferable head of the police union, or that foul-mouthed criminal who had cursed her in public, and certainly not a political opponent.  
In the courthouse media area a few hours later, Christine stood in front of the television crews and print hacks. SPORTSCHICK: We don’t even know if he’s gonna play again. Closing the book, she got out of bed and padded across the upstairs hallway to check on her kids, who slept in adjacent bedrooms. He had an estranged wife, a heroin-addicted son, and a drinking problem sparked by the first two circumstances. “Dad?”
He had forgotten his daughter was in the room. SAL: Lemme guess, you disagree? Criminals in her world were found not guilty at trial, others plea bargained their sentences down and barely paid the price for their crimes. “What?”
“Can you make my scrambled egg whites?”
While Chloe sat at the kitchen table and finished her homework, Franklin stood at the stove separating the yolks from the whites and thought about Jay. “As I’m sure my esteemed colleague Mr. Last night, what occurred was a car accident in which Mr. It would not change anything. “So it is.” Doomer offered a courtly nod before turning his attention back to Judge Rice with a conspicuous display of forbearance. Trey took a step back from the doctor. What sports owner—football, baseball, hockey, or basketball—is going to run over his number one asset with a car? Something terrible had happened. Gladstone will willingly surrender his driver’s license for one year as New York State law demands. Briefly, her mind alighted on the morality of this idea. For the oldest child of a Republican gubernatorial candidate to be seen wearing it would cause problems upstate and on Long Island. SPORTSCHICK: Pinochle? “It’s with my wallet and belt.”
A Court Officer was dispatched to retrieve the item, and it was returned to Jay who handed it to the lawyer who passed it to the judge. He peeled the T-shirt off and hurled it in her direction. Dr. “Yeah, I know,” Van Pelt said. The isolation of the pen beneath the high ceiling of the courtroom reinforced the feeling of inconsequentiality he had been experiencing in the last several hours. On the matter of the shooting of John Eagle, I have decided not to convene a grand jury. SPORTSCHICK: Guy’s got a point, Sal. Trey asked, “But he’s gonna live?”
“We hope so.”
“You don’t know?”
“Your brother is getting the best care in the world, Mr. “Denied.”
Pagano tried to suppress a rogue smile. There were around sixty people in the room. I’ll tell you this: If that’s what happened, Gladstone’s gonna get away with it. They asked if her office was in the tank for the Police Department. He still did not have his phone, so he had not heard from Bebe. “What did you say?”
Emboldened: “I said you’re a fascist.”
“What do you know about fascists?”
“They’re against freedom.”
“Anything else?”
“That’s all I know.”
“Obviously, because you got a ‘C’ in history.” She hadn’t meant to insult him like that but, just like his father, this kid could get under her skin. As I’m sure Mr.—” Herman Doomer looked at the opposing counsel. Doomer put his hand on Jay’s arm, indicating he should remain in place. “A medically induced coma,” the doctor said. SAL: Let’s back up. “Why murder?”
“We don’t know the circumstances yet, do we?” Pagano said, spooning a bite of yogurt into his mouth. He wanted nothing more than to sprint to the car, but Jay was not paying the attorney in order to ignore his advice. Jay took a seat on a bench in the cell, grateful that his fellow prisoners had chosen to ignore his arrival. The attorney assured his client this bit of “housekeeping” would not take long, and he would have him out of here shortly. Both of them major figures in the world of sports, one in the hospital, the other one in serious legal trouble. While they waited, Doomer called the hospital to get an update on Dag’s condition. I’m not saying this is gonna happen, I hope to Christ it doesn’t, but Dag croaks and you got manslaughter.”
“Maybe murder,” Pagano said. “What was D’Angelo Maxwell doing in Bedford?” Franklin asked. When Franklin did not immediately reach for a phone, she asked what he was waiting for. “My brother’s in a coma,” he managed, “and I can’t see him?”
“Someone will keep you posted and assuming his condition improves—”
Trey interrupted, “What do you mean ‘assuming?’”
“Mr. Christine signed off, relieved. “But it sounds awful. Dag wraps the car around a tree. “I’m a big fan of your brother’s. Marcy kissed Franklin goodbye, asked her daughter if that was what she planned to wear to school (Chloe: “Your outfit is totally ghetto, and I’m the one getting busted?”), reminded her to use sunscreen (Marcy: “You’ll thank me when all your friends have melanoma”), and headed out to her tennis game. SPORTSCHICK: Gladstone is driving—the wife is home, right? He resisted but when she said “Dominic, if you don’t want to be grounded, take off that goddamn T-shirt and hand it over,” it was clear that resistance was futile. Christine was only a casual sports fan—she knew what a contemporary New York politician needed to know for small talk (Yankees in playoffs, Jets struggling, Knicks hopeful)—and was aware of Jay Gladstone more from his role as a real estate magnate than as a team owner. How would she fill the time? Horror at what he had witnessed and what he had done enervated him, and his entire body was sore. She had tossed it on a chair earlier intending to dispose of it in the morning. No way to say what Gladstone’s indictment might be at this point. TOMMY: Because he’s rich. He shouldn’t get paid? I didn’t ask you to run for office, and I’ll wear this fuckin’ T-shirt if I want, and I’ll get you one for your birthday.”
Her charitable impulse vaporized. It’s a one-car accident on a country road. Doomer,” the judge said. He asked Jay where his passport was. In front of the hospital on First Avenue, a media Woodstock was camped on the sidewalk. In the visitors’ lounge, Trey, Lourawls, and Babatunde were watching a live CNN report about Dag when a commanding black man in surgical scrubs approached and asked Trey if he was D’Angelo Maxwell’s brother. “Mr. SPORTSCHICK: Gladstone’s at the wheel of the car and they’re going somewhere. Beyond them in the distance was the familiar sight of Boris standing sentinel next to the kind of black SUV seen in motorcades transporting world leaders. Hey, we’re not even thinking playoffs. He cooked the usual sausages and peppers, burgers and chicken, the occasional ribeye steaks. Marcy did not like being told to pipe down. Pagano.” Was the judge bantering with Pagano? SPORTSCHICK: Maybe they’re playing video games. Did he have to manage the maid, too? There was now another man in front of the judge. “I’m Dr. The DA quickly ascertained that Franklin was aware of what had befallen his relative. It made him feel like a hypocrite since he was not much of a Christian what with all the weed, and the drinking, and the fornicating, not to mention his complete inability to find Jesus relatable. She repeated the question. As for Mr. On days like this one, when Christine was in warrior queen mode, she liked to, rather than ask a question, offer a prompt to see what would come out of the mouths of her foot soldiers. “Murder?” Christine echoed. Trey jumped to his feet and introduced himself. Depraved indifference, Your Honor. Ten minutes later another court officer appeared and called, “Gladstone!”
When he entered the courtroom, Jay had the unwelcome sense of stepping on to a stage. SAL: Likely. Gladstone’s legal situation, we will fight to have these charges dismissed, and if the case winds up going to trial, which I don’t think is going to happen, we will prevail. Flanked by an American flag, the flag of the State of New York, and her deputy Lou Pagano, the district attorney stared at the bank of cameras. SPORTSCHICK: You see that in a movie? The wife is driving, she wrecks the car, and one of the guys takes the fall. “Shush.” he said. “How about you get me some tickets to a game?”
“I’ll see what I can do,” Jay said. She certainly didn’t want D’Angelo Maxwell to die. Poured the ounce of juice that remained into a glass, drank it down, and threw the carton in the garbage can under the sink. But even in a sleep-addled state, it did not escape her that the police shooting incident had occurred at Gladstone Village. No! “In college,” Bannister said. So, to associate the word ‘depraved’ with an individual of my client’s stature is nonsensical. No one would ever misjudge her if she were able to put someone like Jay Gladstone behind bars. Bannister said. Then she picked the iPod up from her desk where it lay next to Pagano’s report on this morning’s proceedings, quickly made her selection, and placed it on the dock. When a sympathetic nurse at Northern Westchester Hospital informed a distraught Trey Maxwell that they were going to fly his brother to the city and there was no additional room in the helicopter, he, Babatunde, and Lourawls climbed into their Escalade and drove to Manhattan where they arrived just before dawn. “Forgive me, sir, I can’t recall your name.”
“Pagano,” the deputy said, failing to hide his pique. It’s all over the Internet. “The Internet’s all over the place,” Van Pelt said, rechecking his phone. SPORTSCHICK: First of all, who was driving? “My client will not be making a statement this morning,” he said. Very few owners do that. My client, Harold Jay Gladstone, I hardly need to say, is a business leader of great distinction, a celebrated professional sports team owner, a husband, a father, and the kind of citizen any polis”—yes, he said polis—“would be lucky to call its own.”
Under other circumstances, Jay might have taken quiet satisfaction in hearing this recitation, but he only wanted the arraignment to be over. ¤
Chapter Twenty-Nine
 
Around the time Jay dropped behind the wheel of the Mercedes and tore out of his Bedford driveway, Christine Lupo lay in bed reading the third in a series of popular mystery novels about a Dublin coroner. Gladstone’s in his fifties, the man is not a drag racer. Last year he had purchased a new gas grill, and it sat forlornly on the patio, unused since the previous autumn. Further, although my client is an individual of means and could raise the amount of money counsel has requested without undue hardship, we submit that a bail figure of that size is prejudicial to the potential jury pool in the event that this case ever goes to trial, since it implies a level of gravity which the charges do not merit.”
The judge looked at the prosecutor. Doomer leaned toward Jay and whispered that he had arranged for the two of them to wait in an empty office while the bail logistics were being worked out. It was the most elegant juridical jiujitsu imaginable. Whether he would topple and shatter remained to be seen. SAL: What if I did? A film and TV writer, playwright, and author of four previous novels, Greenland was the original host of The LARB Radio Hour and serves on LARB’s board of directors. The Hazards of Good Fortune will be published in book form by Europa Editions on August 21, 2018. The bespoke gray suit he wore hung on a tall frame. Greenland’s novel follows Jay Gladstone from his basketball-loving youth to his life as a real estate developer, civic leader, philanthropist, and NBA team owner, and then to it all spiraling out of control. We still don’t know the extent of his injuries. The woman with fake fur and her attorney stepped away from the bench as Jay heard the bailiff call his name. As for Jay, the figure“ seemed unduly high, the high that augured further and more challenging difficulties. Ignoring his daughter, Franklin pointed at the screen, and Marcy followed his gaze. Be a doll and get it.”
The girl rolled her eyes and slinked off. “He’ll make a full recovery; he’s near death—bottom line is no one knows jack. SPORTSCHICK: All we know is there was a car accident up in Westchester County and Jay Gladstone got arrested. SAL: Lemme tell you why not. Bannister were another brain surgeon and a surgical resident. “Justice is most definitely local, Stuart. The foreign television contingent included crews from England, France, Germany, Japan, Israel, and Italy. So you got second-degree reckless endangerment potentially all the way up to who knows. SAL: Where are they going in the middle of the night? Babatunde and Lourawls huddled nearby. She shrugged and opened the refrigerator. “Mr. “Please come to the point.”
Doomer took the interruption in stride and did not react, something Jay appreciated. She turned to face the large man on the couch. “There were no charges, and someone died. SPORTSCHICK: Maybe someone can explain it. That he found himself a participant in this environment, rather than a spectator peering at it on a plasma screen, lent the morning a surreal cast. “When I am asked to adjudicate a matter as important as this one,” she began, “the responsibility weighs on me heavily. He was overweight and sported a comb-over. So her insurance rates don’t go up? Eyes closed, fingers entwined on her lap, she savored the opening notes of the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra’s version of Der Ring des Nibelungen, luxuriating on a cloud of Wagnerian bliss and imagining her picture adorning the homepage of the New York Times. He had spent much of the past week huddled with a forensic accountant and a lawyer trying to determine if there was a way to reverse engineer the books that would not result in leaving him vulnerable to being charged with committing massive fraud. “But we don’t know if the grand jury’s gonna support that. A fringe of salt and pepper hair surrounded his bald dome, eyes the pale blue of Russian winter. He regarded Bannister and for the first time registered the doctor’s height. The phone buzzed for nearly thirty seconds before the DA woke up and grabbed it. “It’s Franklin,” he said, attempting to convey sympathy to the voice mail. Marcy left a brief message concluding with, “Call us if there’s anything we can do.”
“Where was she when all this was going on?” Franklin asked. She knew what happened when a famous person was on trial. The other was dispatched to procure for Jay a more appropriate shirt so he could finally get rid of the one gifted to him by the Bedford Police Department. Still, he nabbed the criminals in the first two books and Christine expected the third to resolve with some clarity and hope. That kind of impudence would not be tolerated, but given that Dominic Jr.  
Chapter Thirty-One
 
The early morning sun peeked over the rooftops of Long Island City and painted sparkling daubs of orange and gold on the swiftly flowing East River as the helicopter carrying D’Angelo Maxwell swept over the 59th Street Bridge south to the NYU Medical Center. “What are you saying?”
“I’m not saying anything.”
“Is somebody going to make egg whites?” Chloe asked, again peering into the refrigerator. Forget the playoffs. There had been an accident. It was sickening. “What are the initial charges?” the judge asked. It was a nasty situation. He was on a prominent sports website where there were already several stories reporting and parsing the Maxwell/Gladstone saga. Hearing the litany intoned by the deputy DA one after the other only added to Jay’s already brimming distress. SAL: The wife! SAL: Why? Bannister began. Lourawls looked toward the ceiling and dragged his palms over the stubble on his cheeks. It was a challenge to hide from her colleagues the glee she felt at the opportunity fate had delivered. His voice was like water. As reporters approached, the bodyguards politely but firmly requested the media keep their distance. SAL: You think they socialize? SAL: An ambulance took both of them to the hospital. He had his father’s thin face and dark hair and wore a black T-shirt that said Thank God I’m An Atheist in bold white lettering. Copyright © 2018 by Seth Greenland
First Publication 2018 by Europa Editions
All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction
in whole or in part in any form. The deputy DA held his hand up, indicating a desire to speak. Out of orange juice, no sign of the maid, and again Jay was getting more attention he didn’t deserve. SAL: So, speculate. Back in her bedroom, she considered reading another chapter of the novel. SAL: Hear me out. He entered a chamber that contained a holding cell in which several prisoners waited patiently on benches under the vigilant eyes of another guard, a sour-looking black man with freckles twice as dark as the rest of his skin. Was he finished? We’re hopeful that he’ll recover but with injuries that involve significant head trauma—right now the prognosis is uncertain.” Here he paused, weighing his words. A basketball player in critical condition. Other than jury duty years earlier, Jay had never been in a courtroom, but the bench, counsel tables, empty jury box, and jammed gallery—he knew it was jammed after finally stealing a glance—were familiar from countless movies and television shows. The accident happened in Bedford, which is where Jay Gladstone lives. The horde erupted again, and Doomer waited for the questions to subside. Reporters asked why she didn’t trust the grand jury process. The flames curled up and illuminated her face, already flushed with anticipation and possibility. Although hearing his more prominent cousin’s name in the media unfailingly triggered negative emotions, he could never stop listening or reading, or in any way tune out Jay’s superior achievements for long. “This is a surprise.”
“I can assure you,” Jay said, “No one is more surprised than I am.”
The red shirt with the yellow stitching that spelled out Bedford Police Golf Outing 2011 in cursive would have made him feel underdressed on a weekday morning in most circumstances, but standing in a courtroom he might as well have been naked. The night was a sea of stars. “This is Jay Gladstone,” he said, with the casual assurance of someone who merely needed to invoke that name to make doors fly open, “and I’d like to speak to whoever runs the hospital.” The person on the other end informed Jay that she would have to take a message. There he introduced himself with little fanfare. He wore a red polo shirt with Bedford Police Golf Outing 2011 stitched across the breast in yellow thread. Last night’s events had the potential to change the equation. They asked if she thought there would be a political benefit to her decision or a backlash. Along with another court officer, he led his client out of the courtroom where they were met by a pair of bruisers, white and black, clad in dark suits. Bannister,” the man said. His play Jungle Rot won the Kennedy Center/American Express Fund For New American Plays Award and the American Theater Critics Association Award. He was a writer-producer on the Emmy-nominated HBO series Big Love. He was the head surgeon, Dr. The State of New York v. He sounded happy to hear from her. The DA answered all of them in a forthright, measured tone, said, of course, she trusted the process, supported both the police and the public, and weren’t they essentially the same thing: people. For much of the night, sleep had eluded him. TOMMY: Personally, I think Dag wanted to get paid. It pained Jay for the lawyer to see his impotence. If she could wrest a single positive consequence from something so awful, was that inherently wrong? And there were legal problems of some kind. She needed to give him a break, but it was hard given how he was looking at her. He still had no idea of the extent of his cousin’s injuries, or the depth of his legal troubles. Jangling like a tambourine, she was unable to get back to sleep. Dressed in a terrycloth robe, Franklin Gladstone stood in front of the open refrigerator, a look of consternation stamped on his face. No one will deny that his killing was a tragedy. She grabbed a notepad and jotted down a few thoughts, but found it difficult to focus. “We disagree,” Pagano said. If a mystery novel was ambivalent on the subject of right and wrong, if it trafficked in the belief that the police and the criminals had something in common, if it was in any way morally ambivalent, she wanted to throw it across the room. Maxwell.”
Trey chose to be reassured by this. SPORTSCHICK: We wish the two of them a speedy recovery. “Why?”
“Because I’m telling you.”
“Yeah, whatever.”
“Don’t whatever me, Dom. She needed to be lucid to get anything useful done. A barely perceptible smile crossed the DA’s lips, one that a conductor might flash when the violins arrive on cue. But she couldn’t help it if Jay Gladstone ran a famous athlete over with his car. When the gurney bearing the unconscious athlete entered the operating theater, a tall man with dark brown skin and an erect, almost military bearing was pulling on surgical gloves. What she said: “Ha ha.”
Believing he had bested his mother, the boy shifted his attention to the Katy Perry poster taped to the wall opposite his bed. Along with head trauma Dag had suffered internal injuries that included a bruised kidney, and several fractured ribs, one of which had punctured a lung. Christine worried that the boy blamed the failure of the marriage on her, and since she and her husband had mutually agreed to withhold the circumstances from their children, she decided that there was no option but to endure the current situation and hope for its resolution at some indeterminate future date. Surround­ing the reporters and correspondents was the herd, drawn like ancient Romans by the timeless drama of a prominent citizen brought low. SAL: You’re saying it was on purpose? It was the first space in the county courthouse Jay had occupied that had a window. Bannister’s request, placed Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks in the CD player. Dag in the passenger seat. Reporters from NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, Univision, Lynx, and TMZ, along with all of the local New York stations, scrambled for information. We just hope he’s okay. liked to barbecue during the summer months. SPORTSCHICK: So it was Dag? SAL: What, playing pinochle? Jay injured. “We all know he’s an exemplary citizen, Mr. JULY 17, 2018

THIS IS PART XI of LARB’s serialization of Seth Greenland’s forthcoming novel The Hazards of Good Fortune. Van Pelt was, nominally, going to decide the charges Jay Gladstone would ultimately face and in what court they would try him.  
Christine Lupo stood at her office window and observed the Gladstone motorcade. “Chloe, my phone’s on the night table. A patterned tie bisected a white Brooks Brothers shirt. “We’ve got driving while intoxicated, felony assault, reckless endangerment in the first degree—” Pagano stopped as if he had still more to say. D’Angelo Maxwell’s race did not escape Christine’s attention either. Guy gets angry; he does a stupid thing. “Jay Gladstone,” she said, “will be treated like any other citizen.”
¤
This book is a work of fiction. Grapefruit and wheat toast? Dressed in a flannel nightgown, she fingered the small gold cross hanging from a thin chain around her neck. The members of the press were loud and insistent, full of brass and the class resentment that arises when a specimen like Jay Gladstone finds himself in front of a courthouse after just having been arraigned. SAL: Get outta here! Only the severity of the charges against him remained to be determined. “Sorry, Mr. A vending machine candy bar appeared. Since the defendant was a public figure, whose presence in the courtroom was guaranteed to generate considerable attention, did she have any special instructions? SAL: I don’t know. In trying to balance both of these lives, one now tragically lost, I have strived for fairness and impartiality. She noticed the time on the digital clock on the nightstand. She sat up in bed. That the state failed him on some level, there can be no doubt. When the results were not immediate, Jay asked for the phone.  
 
THE ACE, W.A.C.E. We’ll reconvene when the grand jury weighs in. “Are you worried I’m going to escape?”
“Regulations.”
He handcuffed Jay and led him down a cinderblock hallway to a bank of elevators. SAL: Old school. Jay looked at his nametag: Caldwell. You think Gladstone is taking Dag to the train? TOMMY: It’s a theory. “You want to hang out with a bunch of overgrown schvartzes, be my guest.”
“I don’t like that word.”
“All of a sudden you’re so politically correct?”
“Well, whatever was going on,” Marcy said, “I’m sure Nicole knows all about it.”
That statement, with its disreputable implications, caught Franklin’s attention. To start with installment one, click here. SAL: They don’t socialize! Gladstone,” the new guard said. But today was different. A nurse had, on Dr. SAL: Are you—what? Mr. Let’s take another call. Maxwell.”
“How’s my boy doing?” Lourawls asked. “It will help speed the healing.”
“Can I see him?”
“Not for a while. The short skirt she wore barely concealed her pudendum, and a midriff strained to establish contact with the spandex waistband. “What?”
“Quiet!”
“Why are we out of orange juice?” Chloe asked. “Christ, Lou, the guy’s in the hospital,” Van Pelt said. Christine, who was constitutionally unable to let her son off the hook, ordered him to remove the T-shirt and hand it to her. The T-shirt burned easily, the fibers blackening like a marshmallow. The wise counsel he prudently offered had guided Gladstone family interests for years, and this morning the low-key certitude of his manner conveyed the unspoken assurance that he would be Jay’s Virgil. I can’t tell you what’s going to happen, of course, but I hope it won’t change the relationship that you and I have established.”
Franklin thanked her for calling and told her there was no need to worry about that. SPORTSCHICK: Wanna know what I think? As a first-rate speaker who usually welcomed the chance to regale an audience, the shame that overcame him was nearly crippling. If she was driving, and that’s a pretty big if—
SAL: Hey, we’re in the realm of speculation. Stuart Berger, a town judge in Bedford, was on line two. No lights were on at the neighbors’ houses. TOMMY: How you guys doing? Everyone looking for someone who knew something, and no one talking. Seeing her parents mesmerized, Chloe joined them. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families. He had a lot on his mind. His manner was friendly. “Do you have any idea how D’Angelo is doing?” Jay asked. Her deputy, Lou Pagano, apologized for awakening her. SAL: He takes a shot at his number one asset with his car? She had thrown a jacket over her nightgown. SAL: Maybe the wife was driving. But at moments like this, when his soul was in torment, Dag’s brother longed for faith. Any references to historical events,
real people, or real locales are used fictitiously. Jay was greatly relieved by Doomer’s presence. Just after four, Christine’s cell phone vibrated. Only vaguely aware of him as an individual, the phrase “All-Star” illuminated his celebrity status as if with klieg lights. He looked down to the sidewalk below and saw several television trucks parked at the curb. Since the shooting of John Eagle occurred, I have thought of little else. When Jay appeared in front of the courthouse, the media surrounded him. “I told you not to let the orange juice run out!”
Where was that woman? SPORTSCHICK: The wife wasn’t in the car. “Tell them to return my call,” was the best he could do. “I don’t want to alarm you, but D’Angelo is not out of danger.”
What did that mean? I haven’t talked to her since that fakakta Seder.”
“I had no idea Jay hung out with the players at his house.”
“God forbid he invites us,” Marcy said. A reporter from a local cable news channel asked her about Jay Gladstone. But I’m telling you, there’s a story here that’s gonna come out. An African-American female correspondent was reporting on an event President Obama had attended at the Waldorf the previous evening. When Jay looked questioningly at Doomer, the lawyer explained that he had taken the precaution of hiring private security guards for the day. Then she placed another call, this one to Franklin Gladstone. Bannister stepped to the table, and the resident placed a drill in his hand. That simple realization set off sparks. SPORTSCHICK: Jay Gladstone is a stand-up guy. The DA sat in her chair and leaned back. Lupo sent you to the courtroom for the arraignment, Mr. He had no desire to talk to his cousin right now, but explaining exactly why this was so to his wife was a prospect even less appetizing. He was a hardworking man who wrestled with mental illness, and he deserves, both in life and in death, our attention. Dominic Sr. The second guard signed the paper on Hartzell’s clipboard and handed it back. He was holding a nearly empty carton of orange juice and watching the TV out of one eye. “Should you call him?” Marcy asked. The lawyer had given Franklin the disquieting news that his best course of action right now was to shield his twin sons from legal culpability in the event Jay were to file charges. Grievous bodily harm would serve her purposes, too. Although Franklin typically blustered through most situations, he cared a great deal about how his wife viewed him. The judge asked if those were the extent of the charges. SPORTSCHICK: No chance Gladstone was driving? It was torture. It was impossible to know how much trouble awaited him. He’s not only a terrific basketball player but he’s also a leader engaged in projects with Mr. Doomer stood at Jay’s right. Didn’t Judge Stuart Berger watch television? Arraignment for what? This possibility seemed to penetrate her usual languor and excite a level of interest she rarely displayed. “Hello, Stuart,” she crooned like he was a long-lost relative. SPORTSCHICK: Wouldja lemme finish? You haven’t killed anyone.”
The history lesson comforted Jay, as did thoughts of Ted Kennedy’s subsequent distinguished legislative career. We’re speculating. Especially a by-the-book guy like Jay Gladstone. The two of them ruminated over these questions for several seconds. In the matter of bail, what does the State request?”
Without hesitation, Pagano said, “The State requests bail be set at one million dollars.”
A close observer would have noticed Herman Doomer’s right eyebrow ascend slightly before returning to its usual place on his creased forehead. “No one’s dead yet,” Franklin said. He attempted to talk with Mr. SAL: I’m not stopping you. At least he was no longer wearing handcuffs. Chloe presented a carton of eggs to Franklin. “Thank you, Your Honor. Sal, what are we, in 1962? ¤
Seth Greenland is the author of five novels. His latest, The Hazards of Good Fortune (Europa Editions), will be published in 2018. I’m just saying, why would Dag be driving Gladstone somewhere? Wouldn’t be the first time. I know. Now, if his doctor would only tell him he didn’t have cancer. This situation did not improve his already dyspeptic mood. She wanted to alert the media that in the matter of Jay Gladstone, a grand jury would be impaneled and its verdict scrupulously adhered to. He recognized several beat reporters who covered the team, along with members of the non-sports media. A terrible accident, we have no idea why Gladstone was arrested, and we hope both of them are okay. It has not been easy. Pagano—” the judge said. He wanted to be perceived as a man of honor and feared her reaction should his mischief come to light. But since his cardiologist told him might drop dead if he didn’t lower his cholesterol, he had grown to dread meals. And let’s also mention what this means for the team. “It cost twenty-five bucks!”
“You should spend your money more wisely.”
Ordinarily, she would have asked if he had completed his homework but her son had been accepted at two colleges that week, so she just said goodnight. In the morning, she would show her son the ashes. SPORTSCHICK: Instead of trading him, the owner runs over the player? “He gonna be himself?”
“Head injuries are unpredictable,” Dr. “Let’s assume he’s gonna be okay,” Trey said. SPORTSCHICK: If she was driving and she cracks the car up, no fatalities, why is anyone taking the fall? Gladstone’s the one who lives there. Bannister. “I’ve only heard what the media is reporting.”
“Which is what?”
“They’re saying he’s in critical condition, but no details.”
Doomer guided Jay to the bench where Judge Rice presided. “As you know, someone convicted of reckless endangerment in the first degree faces a prison sentence of up to seven years, and the state submits that anyone facing that kind of prison time is a potential flight risk. She wanted to go to the office immediately, but that was impossible. He might die? The court officer led the party down a hallway to an empty office and closed the door behind them, one guard remaining inside. Christine was already energized by the prospect of having someone as prominent as Jay Gladstone in one of her courtrooms, but when Pagano informed her that the injured party was the NBA All-Star D’Angelo Maxwell, she nearly gasped. Gladstone suffered a serious injury. The man does not crash his car unless he’s under the influence and no one’s seen a blood alcohol report.  
Chapter Thirty-Two
 
The desire to know whether Dag had survived consumed Jay, but no one would tell him anything. He would tell Marcy to talk to Carmen. SAL: It’s business, Tommy. The walls were bare. Americans mourned when he passed from the scene. “Your Honor, may I?” Judge Rice nodded. The difference between the first and second degree in the universe of reckless endangerment was lost on Jay, although he sensed the one they intended to charge him with was worse. Like many surgeons, Bannister enjoyed music in the operating room and made his choices based on where they were in the course of whatever procedure he was performing. Let’s face it, Dag hasn’t lived up to expectations, he’s asking for the moon, Gladstone gets mad, and bing-bang-boom! If this was the kind of day it was going to be, he might as well go back to bed. He had not slept well since the night of the Seder when Jay told him he wanted to audit the books of the Asian operation. Doomer asked permission to approach the bench, and the judge beckoned both counsels forward. “It’s Carmen’s day off,” Marcy said. When the meeting ended, Christine called Press Relations. He’s in the ICU, and his body is very susceptible to infection right now.”
Trey felt his throat tighten. Jay watched as the judge made a note on his pad. SPORTSCHICK: I think Gladstone was driving. was in bed listening to music on headphones. SAL: Tommy from Queens, you’re on the Ace, W.A.C.E. Jay contacted his banker. “We know he’s got a head injury.”
“Poor guy could be a cucumber,” Pagano said. Again, Pagano hesitated. Once he completed the drilling and the more delicate work commenced, he would request Brahms. “Just because a citizen of the defendant’s stature is in court doesn’t mean he gets treated differently than anyone else.”
“Mr. He rubbed his neck and thought about the cross tattooed there. The implosion of her marriage was troubling from a logistical perspective, but she was relieved to be done with Dominic Lupo. As far as she was concerned, for all of his hardships, the coroner’s professional life was far easier than hers. The DA perched on the edge of the desk. Fellas, get well soon! Very personable. Judge Daryl Rice, a black man in his sixties with wire-rimmed half-glasses and a full head of white hair, was arranging a trial date for a young woman wearing tight jeans and a fake fur jacket, a female public defender on her flank. “Never better,” Jay said, the mild sarcasm meant to show that he had not broken down. I mean it.”
Under his breath, he said, “Fascist,” still loud enough for his mother to hear. To his relief, Jay did not answer. All of this allowed Jay to believe everything was going to work out. Christine’s desk phone buzzed. SAL: In northern Westchester? His chest thudded. Christine baptized the T-shirt with lighter fluid, struck a match, and ignited it. “What’s he being charged with?”
Pagano recited the facts as best he knew them at that point. Pagano understands, in the State of New York, the charge of reckless endangerment in the first degree demands that the prosecution prove depraved indifference to human life. It was the legal equivalent of a jet engine, sucking up all other cases in its wake. “Fuck.”
Marcy, who forbade her daughter from using profanity, was too distracted to notice. All they have is trees. Gladstone is not a flight risk, which appears to be what counsel is suggesting. Maxwell, your brother, as I was saying, is not out of danger. He was the man tasked with prosecuting the tens of thousands of criminal cases originating in the city, town, and village courts of Westchester County. The judge asked Pagano if he was finished and the deputy district attorney said he was. Bannister’s forthrightness did little to comfort him. SAL: First of all, no way Gladstone was driving the car. SPORTSCHICK: All right, who do you think was driving? Your Honor, I hereby move that the court dismiss all charges.”
The judge grinned at Doomer, one professional to another. Seated in a chair, Lou Pagano consumed yogurt from a small container with a plastic spoon and watched his boss. The series of procedures the surgical team performed took five hours. Eagle, and unfortunately, the situation escalated. There will be no charges filed, and my office now considers the matter closed.”
A barrage of questions followed, and for fifteen minutes Christine answered them. What was the point of praying to a dead white man? He needed God to intervene. “Too soon.”
“Do we know his condition?” the DA asked. Don’t rub it in. The room, painted sea green, held a desk and several chairs. She had already reviewed the police reports, the court papers, and the memo Pagano generated outlining potential case strategy. SPORTSCHICK: Let’s be clear to the listeners that we don’t have any special knowledge here on the ACE. SPORTSCHICK: Visiting? I interviewed him last year, and he’s a real gentleman. Whether the man was trying to collect his thoughts or pausing for effect, Jay did not know. “Better him than you,” she said. What was Dag Maxwell doing in Bedford? “What we can say at this time is that our primary focus is on the health of D’Angelo Maxwell, and we wish him a speedy recovery as I’m sure all of you do as well. It was pleasant to be alone. Having failed to get her husband’s attention, Marcy tried once more: “Franklin, what?”
“Is everybody deaf?” Chloe again, head to the side, weight on one leg. Chloe returned, handed Marcy her phone. Did she possess the capacity to engineer something so audacious? In a sepulchral voice that held decades of secrets, Herman Doomer inquired how he was faring. A team of orderlies was waiting when the pilot landed on the riverside helipad, and as the blades whirred overhead, they rushed the helicopter, removed Dag, and hustled him directly into the hospital, on to an elevator, and to an operating room where a surgical team was ready to take over. One of the factors that made this decision so difficult was that Mr. To pre-order on Indiebound, click here; on Amazon, click here; at Barnes & Noble, click here. SAL: Most definitely. He was upset about the divorce. Given to him by a sympathetic cop, the size was XXL. Jay Gladstone is the most controlled, level headed, passion-free guy in New York sports today and any caller who wants to tell me his team is in New Jersey—put a cork in it. Whatever they were, the man was teetering on his plinth. “The good news is the swelling in his brain is going down.”
“A coma?” The word battered Trey. To show anything other than pure professionalism would have been improper, not to say morbid. Further, there are no breathalyzer results, so the DUI is not provable. For the next minute, they watched as the most wild-eyed version of the previous night’s events was breathlessly recounted: “Horrific accident,” “airlifted,” “clinging to life.”
“Did Jay kill someone?” Chloe asked. While the DA was doing this, she pondered her options.  
Chapter Thirty
 
In Franklin and Marcy Gladstone’s Long Island kitchen, the coffee was brewing, and the television on the white marble countertop was tuned to the morning news. Franklin had not covered his tracks as well as he thought and Jay’s recent trip to South Africa had provided a reprieve during which he intended to devise a new plan. Her driver would not pick her up for several hours. In a gray suit, one leg folded over the other, squinting at the screen of his smart phone, Harry Van Pelt was the bureau chief of the Local Criminal Courts and Grand Juries Division. Pagano,” the judge said, “I assume, given the seriousness of the charges, the district attorney’s office intends to convene a grand jury.”
“We do, Your Honor.”
“All right, then. had already expressed a preference for living with his father she didn’t want to make the situation worse. SPORTSCHICK: Okay, I don’t know where they were going. We’re going to do all we can to get him back on his feet.”
“Word,” Trey said and offered his fist, which the doctor bumped. Jay did not recognize them. Now she grabbed it and headed downstairs. “When did Jay get back from Africa?” Marcy answered. Gladstone,” Officer Hartzell said, “but I gotta put the cuffs on.”
Jay had just arrived at the county courthouse, and Hartzell was the New York State court officer escorting him to the holding cell adjacent to the courtroom. “I heard it was a pretty wild night up there.” She listened as the judge explained the value of showing that justice was local and to his request that the Gladstone prosecution take place in his Town of Bedford courtroom. Jay was the perpetrator. Babatunde ground his teeth, muttered, “Please, Lord,” to no one in particular. Fighting the urge to yell, and sensing whatever other demands he might make would remain unmet, he handed the phone back to Doomer. Here, gimme.” Marcy took the phone and began dialing Nicole’s number (“Never mind I’m not crazy about her, she’s family”), but after she pressed the area code, it became apparent that she couldn’t remember it. “Victim” seemed too impersonal, although that was what he was. You got a young black guy and an old white guy. Assisting Dr. SPORTSCHICK: Why not? He loved Guinness stout and Roquefort cheese, and suffered from gout and mild depression. To Marcy, he kvetched: The terrorists at Guantanamo eat better! She enjoyed books like this because they presented evil and then punished it, unlike her job where compromise was usually the order of the day. “You play ball?” Trey asked. Lourawls wrapped his arm around Trey’s shoulder, said, “Dag’s gonna be all right.”
Trey knew this to be true because the theme of his sibling’s life was Triumph, and what was this but another challenge. The universe was serving her Jay Gladstone on a platter. “A little one?”
“Shush,” he said, intent on the television. Had he heard the word “arraignment”? “We should be able to beat this, right?”
“Ted Kennedy walked away from Chappaquiddick,” Doomer said. “Where did you get that T-shirt?”
He took off the headphones in a way that conveyed to his mother he was not pleased with being interrupted. The district attorney nodded. Seeing this unexpected aspect of the interaction, Babatunde and Lourawls both offered their fists and received reassuring dap from Dr. Like she was his enemy. He realized with some amazement that the recent course of antibiotics seemed to be working because whatever had been going on in his prostate area no longer seemed dire. But, listen, here’s the thing: There’s going to be a certain amount of attention focused on this trial and, of course, there are going to be security concerns that I’m not sure you’re equipped to handle up there, which is no reflection on your operation. But what an opening this was! SAL: You’re right. Were they sufficiently grave, it might grant her maneuverability in the John Eagle case. So, I will take your request under advisement, and my office will let you know when we decide how this is going to play out, all right?” Placing the phone back on the cradle, she said, “That little twerp thought he was going to try this case?”
Pagano and Van Pelt shook their heads in wonder. Gladstone!”
“Is your nose broken?”
“Hey, Prince Jay!”
“Where were you and Dag going when the accident occurred?”
“Will you take a plea deal?”
“Jay, Jay, Jay, look this way!”
The shutters of cameras rapidly clicked, video cameras shot footage that would be played and replayed on the evening news, reporters continued to call out questions that sounded like commands, and, perhaps most jarring to Jay, ordinary citizens held up cell phone cameras to record the circus, until Herman Doomer indicated he intended to speak and their collective attention shifted to his unruffled presence. He wanted nothing more than to be allowed to go home and take a shower. Lucia was already asleep, and Dominic Jr. So, what went down last night? SAL: Everyone knows you’re younger than me. He used a fountain pen, and from this Jay extrapolated that the court might be sympathetic to him. Their eyes were on the same level. Thank you, that’s all for today.”
The questions rained down once more, but now Doomer propelled Jay toward the car. Dr. SPORTSCHICK: Money! Because the victim was black, the Gladstone indictment would give her cover for not convening a grand jury in the cop shooting. AM
NEW YORK SPORTS TALK RADIO
WITH SAL D’AMICO AND THE SPORTSCHICK
 
SAL: The story right now, Sportschick, and all anyone is talking about is D’Angelo Maxwell and Prince Jay Gladstone. SPORTSCHICK: Takes the fall for what, Sal? Gladstone,” Judge Rice said. Gladstone for the betterment of the community”—Jay was not aware of any projects the two of them were doing together but marveled at Doomer’s ability to shade the truth in service of his client—“and we all want to see him engaged in that work again and back on the court helping the team win an NBA title. The ball club is currently only one game out of the playoffs, and now their best player is in intensive care. If they make the playoffs, will he be back in time? The timing of this from a basketball standpoint could not have been worse. Cursed under his breath and served himself some coffee with nonfat milk. Christine was about to change that. SPORTSCHICK: Definitely? “Yes, yes, of course,” she said. Babatunde closed his eyes and prayed. What had his cousin done? “So?” she said. “What do you think, we’re in a book club together? He grunted at her and slipped the headphones back on. The reporters shouted:
“What happened last night, Jay?”
“Jay, Jay, over here!”
“Was someone else in the car beside you and Dag?”
“Mr. He was up there visiting. “Can I get a tattoo?” His daughter Chloe had come down sleepy-eyed for breakfast. SPORTSCHICK: I like Dag, too. Black oxfords, polished. As he emptied the third packet of artificial sweetener into his cup, he heard the anchorman say the name Jay Gladstone and Franklin wearily turned his head toward the television. She didn’t want that either; recognized it would be ghoulish to wish for anything remotely close. “I just operated on Mr. TOMMY: The team didn’t want to back up the money truck, Dag gets pissed off, Gladstone runs him over. SPORTSCHICK: Maybe a strip club. SPORTSCHICK: What do you think happened, Tommy? The spiel he had just delivered on his client’s behalf was a corker. It could have been his daughter who was failing trigonometry; it could have been business, what did it matter? Harold Jay Gladstone was going to be District Attorney Lupo’s show. Three times he had awakened the previous night, twice to urinate, and one time because who knows why? It’s a one-car accident! She lifted the metal cover and placed the T-shirt on the grill. Babatunde sat nearby, thumbing through a Bible someone had left behind. He said, “Louis Pagano, Your Honor, representing the State of New York.”
“This must be a significant case if Ms. It was not felony assault much less reckless endangerment in the first degree, or the second degree, or any degree at all. He had received a call from the night shift felony ADA informing him police arrested Jay Gladstone in Bedford, arraignment at the County Courthouse in a few hours. She picked up the receiver. While Franklin was staring at the television, his wife had entered the kitchen dressed in canary yellow workout clothes for her indoor tennis game. Unfortunately, there was not. “Bail is set at one million dollars and the defendant is ordered to immediately surrender his passport.”
Jay turned to Doomer who, with a subtle downward motion of his hand, indicated that he should not react. “Can you just leave me out of your life? She glanced around the bedroom and saw her son’s T-shirt. “Carmen!” Louder. “The Internet.”
“Don’t wear it outside the house,” she ordered. SAL: I’m gonna say Dag was driving. They rode up several floors then disembarked. Jay was not encouraged by the familiarity between them. “Your brother sustained several serious injuries and is still in a coma,” Dr.