Sometimes it’s good just to do something for the joy of it. I pick up the guitar in that spirit sometimes, just for the happiness of making pleasing sounds come out of it. I write this one today in that spirit, to remind myself of the only partly sardonic good luck I have to find myself me, given the alternatives.
Last winter I went to court, dressed shabbily, I realize now, to represent a nattily dressed fellow who walked with a cane. A very well-spoken man a lawyer friend of mine represented. My friend had filed and served all the appropriate papers and made a motion for a judgment on default, since the defendant never answered any of his papers. The judge needed to hear the damages to make an award and this would be done at a one-sided trial called an inquest. My friend was not comfortable speaking in court, and since I was used to it, I examined the plaintiff at the inquest. With me walking him through the story, and nobody to object that I was leading him, he told his story about an insensitive Bronx dentist who had treated him badly.
“And what did the defendant do when you told him you were in pain from the temporary cap that was cutting into your gums and cheek and making your mouth raw and bloody?” I asked the plaintiff, in the manner of Fred Astaire leading Ginger Rogers.
“He told me ‘get the fuck out of my office’, excuse me, your Honor,” he turned quickly to the judge who nodded nonchalantly for him to continue. “Then he called me cabron,” he repeated the entire Spanish phrase which he began to translate for the judge.
“I know what cabron means,” said the judge, “in English it’s cuckcold.”
I nodded at the judge and the plaintiff and there was no reason to emphasize that what the hot-headed dentist had actually said was “get out of here man whose wife I fuck like every other man with a dick fucks, you dickless fucking fairy.” No point, Judge, I confirmed with a glance.
“And after the police left and you told the dentist you would get a lawyer and sue him, what did he do?” I asked with fake innocence, since anyone could tell I knew full well the answer to this twenty thousand dollar question.
“He picked up a stack of his business cards, threw them in my face and said ‘give these to your fucking lawyer, cabron, and get the fuck out of my office’,” I nodded with obvious sympathy. The judge was impressed by the defaulting dentist’s cold-bloodedness. I didn’t need to add what he would have said about the court, the judge, the law itself, if given the chance.
“Here, cabron, take these for that fucking homo judge who’s going to hear this case after I wipe my ass with your lawyer’s fucking legal papers, in fact, I have a box of a thousand business cards here, wait, here they are, and you can tell the judge to have a nice time and watch the paper cuts when he shoves all of them up his syphlitic asshole. Now, go, and please, have a very nice day, cabron.”
This would have been overkill, I thought. In any case, it was unnecessary. The judge, suitably inflamed, awarded a judgment against the dentist that was, with the 9% statutory interest, about $20,000. When informed of the judgment against him the ill-tempered dentist remained unconcerned.
I learned today that, pursuant to some papers we filed with banks and a marshal, $12,000 of Medicaid payments, on automatic deposit to one of the good doctor’s bank accounts, was seized by the marshal. My friend and I will split a third of that sum. “Ha hey!” I said, “better than being summoned for jury duty.”
I called a friend who is actively concerned about me. I don’t blame him for being concerned and wanted to give him a little upbeat news. When I told him the story he was very happy. When I told him I’d write it up and send it to Larry, maybe get another $250 for it, he laughed. Then I told him, quite seriously, that I’d return to my regularly scheduled pissing and moaning now and he wisely rang off.
The good news cheered me up briefly, I have to admit. But I’m over it now, and looking for new thrills today.