Out of Retirement.

Not much has been happening with me.  I’ve settled back into playing online, with mixed results.  Also–and this is probably a sign that I’m getting old and feeble–I’ve had a variety of stupid physical ailments, including an ear infection (big up to Janeen’s brother, a.k.a. Dr. Lyle for helping with this one), a strange food allergy and a strained muscle in my neck.  I’m fallin’ apart, I tell ya.

Also, this past Monday morning, I made my first court appearance in about 18 months.  Don’t worry, I’m not busto.  I was doing someone a favor in a rinky-dink case:  a friend of a friend got a citation for pissing on the street, the friend asked me to represent his buddy, so I agreed.

I went through my old routine:  I woke up early, showered, put on a suit, took the subway downtown, and handled the case.  I considered the fact that it was torrentially raining the entire time–which left me completely soaked despite my umbrella–as an omen.

On trips down memory lane, you tend to notice things you once took for granted.  After 18 months of making my own schedule, these were:

-Holy alarm clock!  Jesus… I haven’t used one of these in a very long time, and I did not like it at all.  It felt less like a mild annoyance and more like a very rude intrusion into my happy little dreamworld.  I was truly startled.  Oof!

-My favorite suit was slightly tighter feeling than I recalled.  Crap.  I need to exercise more.

-The subway!  I only take the subway maybe once a week these days, and when I do, it’s not during the morning rush.  Wow.  After passing on the first crowded 6 train, I got onto the second one that pulled into the station.  Getting jostled around on there and looking at all the somber faces, I was torn between feeling nostalgic and annoyed.  Due to its amazing efficiency, the NYC subway system is like the city’s last bastion of populism:  well heeled CEO’s are standing side by side with minimum wage workers, and no one really notices it.  No one really pays attention to anything outside their little personal bubble, as a matter of fact.  Taken largely for granted by New Yorkers, the subway is an amazing benefit of living here.  I had half forgotten how ridiculously fast you can get from one end of Manhattan to the other.  So cool.  On the other hand, being in such close quarters with so many people has its drawbacks.  You’re an 8-1 dog to not encounter any smelly people.

-Going to court.  Downtown Manhattan on a rainy morning is such a dreary place.  There’s no charm to it at all, just a bunch of blank looking faces hustling into ugly concrete buildings.  Court itself hasn’t changed, of course.  My attorney pass had expired, so I had to enter the building along with all the defendants.  But making the appearance was like riding a bike, I hadn’t forgotten anything.  The room was crammed full of people of all kinds, waiting their turn to plead guilty and pay their fines.  I took my spot up in the front row and made idle chit-chat with another attorney while we waited for the elderly judge to show up.  He wanted to talk about the peculiarities of legal procedure in different counties.  I had the urge to explain to him that I wasn’t a lifer and therefore didn’t give a shit, but instead I sat there feigning interest in how Rockland County handles its administrative docket.  When the judge finally showed, they called my case right away.  I got the pissing charge reduced to generic city code violation, my client paid his $50 fine, I got paid, and I left.

The subway home was a lot less crowded.  I bought an egg sandwich at my local deli, ate it, and went back to sleep.  All in all, it was a nice trip down memory lane, but I won’t be back anytime soon. 

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