Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Just How Just Is Our Justice System?

id you think I wasn't coming back? That I got past the 100 mark and then slacked off?

Sorry to make you wonder.

It's just that it's countdown time now to our upcoming court date and we've been unable to talk to our lawyer and his assistants. "Unable" only because, I think, they're all so overworked that they don't know whether they've returned calls or not (though the latter is likely frequently the case), they don't know who's doing what on the case, and we're an odd case and maybe have them stumped. I don't know why they're so uncommunicative. But how can anyone get mad at people who are volunteering their time? People who help those less fortunate—who fight slimebags because it's the right thing to do?

On the other hand, my little family has a lot to lose in this one case and it has us feeling over-the-top anxious and sick.

We were in our neighbor's apartment yesterday when her phone rang. She let the antiquated answering machine pick up. (Yeah, just like in the movies—because it's such a sea change to make the switch to voicemail.) The voice said, "This is _______ _________." It was our landlord and nemesis. His very name made my heart race. Funny how our bodies act on their own without any cerebral persuasion. I took a couple of deep breaths and practiced a mindfulness exercise.

I got past the moment and my blood pressure relaxed. However, being in court with the monster and his mouthpiece won't be easy. I'm trying to prepare for it.

But honestly, I feel like my husband and I are two lone wooden pins at the end of a bowling lane and someone is about to lob a heavier-than-regulation bowling ball at us. Where will we fall? Will anyone help us up? Will we ever get to play the game again with people who follow the rules? (That visage at the right is a clear bowling ball. Can you imagine a tournament with nothing but skulls making strikes?)

Who knows? Everything that's happened in my life this year brings to mind this quote of hope:

"It’s hard to tell our bad luck from our good luck sometimes; hard to tell for many years to come."
—Merle Shain

Perhaps, regardless of how Monday ends, my husband and I will look back at this from our future lives and see it as an extraordinary turn of good fortune. We just can't see that far ahead right now.

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