I decided I should visit the office to assist struggling lawyers. I was taken on a tour of the building which helped me identify histories finest New Jersey lawyers. I think the purpose of this was to impress me. I enjoyed the art work but didn’t give a shit about the impressive career lawyers depicted in the art work. As far as honoring the Presidents of the New Jersey Bar Association, I would never want my name painted in gold on a rotunda wall or any other wall for being the President of any association.
I guess I’ve been down on Presidential status since the Sixth Grade elementary school presidency election. My best school friend voted for himself instead of me. I lost the presidency by one vote because I voted for him. I admit it was my own fault for choosing to support my best friend. I learned that day that there are no friends in politics, an important lesson in life.
In ninth grade, I was elected the class President. It was a figure head, do nothing job, perfect for me. On the day the photo was taken for the yearbook, I had bad hair. I sat next to the secretary or treasurer who was a very pretty and personable ninth grader. I wish I had good hair that day. I had a crush on her. After that, I don’t think I spoke with her the entire school year. I think I expected telepathy to do the talking for me. Well, two presidential elections, one a political failure and the second, a figure head do nothing position with a personal failure. I figured I was not presidential material.
Directing me through this tour of the building was one of the nicest men I had ever met. It was hard to believe he had ever practiced law. When he lead me to an office to talk, we both sat down. The chairs were basic. Certainly, not the expensive tipping forward and backward seats I had become accustomed to in my less than illustrious career as a member of the bar.
The seats in this room were blue cloth covered at the back rests and seat backs. The cloth was a really fine fish net style. The seats had black flattened “C” legs and arm rests. We both sat in the same style seat. Did these seats mean he and I were on equal “playing fields,” just talking one brethren to another? To my right was a pile of two boxes; they appeared to be two boxes filled with the materials necessary for trial. Behind him was a long table; I think it was a grey plastic table. Here we were sitting just a couple of trial lawyers, one a nice gentleman dressed in a blue suit, a yellow paisley tie, wearing black shoes and black socks and me, a paranoid whacked out guy in jeans, a USMC gray pull over long sleeved tee shirt, blue sneakers and short, ankle high black socks which matched my outfit because they were black.
He kindly asked me why I had come to see him. I told him,” Because I hate practicing law!” He first assured me of confidentiality informing me I could tell him anything. I told him I didn’t care about confidentiality and that he could share my life with anyone he chose. Fuck that confidentiality shit. I’m not ashamed of my life.
We then began the brief one word responses to my life. Pitch to the lead off hitter: Had I ever used drugs? “Marijuana?”–“Yes, still do sometimes;” “Cocaine?”” Yes;” “How much?” I was stumped by this one, did he want a measurement in lines, eight balls or kilos ? It would be tough to calculate. I went with “lots.” Clearly, I had rounded second. He pitched again, it was a blazing fast ball right across the heart of the plate. What could it be I thought. He stared me dead on in the eyes. Have you ever used speed, like black beauties? ” “Yea, sure; I replied without even stopping at third, ” I used to sell and use Crystal Meth.” I was definitely going for the in the park home run. He dusted his hands on his uniform. He threw the curve, an average man couldn’t track the ball. He asked, “Did you ever use hallucinogens like acid or mescaline.” I didn’t even have to slide; I blew right through the plate and high fived the hands of all those who had lived this part of life with me. He went through a few more drugs: ludes, ecstasy etc…. He forgot inhalants. I felt a little cheated. I suspect I could have hit back to back home runs.
“Have you ever had ideations of suicide?” He already had his hand with his pencil ready to check the “No.” I fixed his ass when I responded, “Yes.” I personally think anyone who denies having thoughts of suicide is untruthful. I believe all people at some point in their lives ask “why” or say, “I wish I were dead.”
He asked me whether I actually had an ideation, not just a passing thought. I responded, ” It depends on whether you consider climbing to the top of an unrailed stone bridge and actively making the decision whether or not you should jump into oncoming traffic an ideation.” I gave him a couple more poignant examples of being on the “edge.” Lucky for me, he either didn’t take me seriously or thought it was fiction. If I were seriously considering, hurting myself or others, he would have to “turn me in.” I’m not sure to whom, but I’m sure it would have involved a car
He asked me if I had ever hurt another person. I told him a story. He either thought I was “talking shit” or he got lost and forgot what he had asked me.
All in all though we enjoyed speaking with each other . We were both well read, had a variety of thoughts about religion, history and literature. He asked me what bothers me about the law. “I told him all we do is rearrange the wealth of the country in small increments. The system lacks integrity, truth, justice and breeds greed in my opinion.
It was really great discussing this struggle with a kind, well educated man.
When I awakened the day after after speaking with this kind well educated man. I stumbled out of bed and said to myself, “I hate practicing law.”