Richard Gallin, plastic surgeon to Broadway stars and cab drivers, senators and mafiosi–indeed, anyone with a need–halted abruptly in the center of his marble-floored East Side waiting room, humming a little. Gallin owned, among much else, three homes, his own medical practice, an impressive collection of tribal art and even a large second-rate painting by a Dutch old master. He was rich, or so it seemed. But what stopped him in his tracks was not all that he possessed but a nagging apprehension of his losses.
Office hours had begun. And though Gallin was dressed in a beautifully tailored suit, his horny yellow feet were bare against the marble. He looked haphazard, disturbing Janine, who gazed at him from her desk. The shoelessness signaled to her that he was still half-in, half out. It was a state, she knew, in which he could no longer afford to linger.