Thursday, February 9, 2017

Adventures

It is always the same. On one day and only on one day each week, this happens:

I sit in an impossibly tiny office. The office is underground, beneath the Harris County Law Library. If I fail, at least once every two minutes, to wave my hands about me in the air, then the office lights shut off.

On this one day each week, people come down underground to see me and to talk to me. The people ask me questions about how they might go about doing legal actions on their own. They lack what we call “representation”, you see, because they are too poor or too stubborn or too demanding.

This is how the people find me: They go to court, trying to, say, get a divorce, or trying to get their kids back from a husband or a lover, and the judge says, “No. No, you’ve mucked this all up by trying to do it yourself.”

The judge says, “Now go across the street and talk to the man sitting in the dark beneath the law library and he will tell you how to un-muck this. If it can be un-mucked.”

This is my job.

Or this is one-fifth of my job, at any rate, which is quite a lot if you add all the time up together.

When the people come down to see me, I say, “Hello there. How are you doing?” while I wave my hands about me in the air. The people probably believe I am waving hello at them but I am not. I am trying to turn the lights back on. You know this.

They usually respond by crying. Maybe they say, “Awful. I am doing awful.”

I say, “No one ever comes down here to see me when they are happy.”

Sometimes – well, not anymore, obviously, but before last week, sometimes – when no one was down to see me I would sit and I would think about my secret identities and what Adri, Katy, and Nasreen might be up to just then.

I don’t have secret identities anymore. You could say I killed them.

I don’t even have a writing voice anymore. This is not a writing voice.

Not yet.

Soon I will find my writing voice, however, and again we will have great adventures together, even from all the way down here, underground, waving our hands about us in the dark. 

45 comments:

  1. So does that mean that you'll represent yourself in the murder trial of Adri, Katy, and Nas? Because I hear Texas is a big fan of the death penalty, especially in the case of multiple homicides.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Harry will be judge jury and executioner.

      Wait he's already the last one three times over.

      Delete
    2. We don't execute people in near the numbers we used to down here. And Adri, Katy, and Nasreen were, respectively, a lawyer, a lesbian, and a Muslim - hardly the type of people at the top of the State of Texas's list of favorite people.

      I'm perfectly safe.

      Delete
    3. "hardly the type of people at the top of the State of Texas's list of favorite people." maybe not in Houston,but then Austin is almost not Texas, sometimes.

      Delete
    4. Even with Houston, it's not as simple as it's made out to be. Obama lost Harris County (Houston) in 2008, won by 1% in 2012.

      But Hillary Clinton took Harris County by 13% and had coat tails that dragged every race for countywide offices into the Dem column last year.

      Big Texas cities are blue, but there are more people in rural areas, so every race for statewide offices go to the Republicans. For the last 19 years. Every race for statewide office (Senator, Gov, Railroad Commission, etc.).

      Delete
  2. Oh I think there's a good writing voice here. Everyone's eager to know Harry.

    Not in the Biblical sense though.

    I assume.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Bill. I'm always working on it.

      And it's never in the biblical sense. Maybe I shouldn't admit that, just to create some unknown potential for the future of the blog.

      Delete
  3. Love the detail of waving your hands to turn on the lights, mostly because I've done it a time or three... and fully understand how foolish one looks and feels while doing it.

    Don't kill the girls. Maybe they can visit every now and again--I like Nasreen. I don't know the others.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha. I'm not going to have this be solely about the old blogs, but if people seem interested, I might delve into them a bit more at some point. I've invested so much time in them, after all...

      Delete
  4. That which is inanimate cannot be killed. Being puppeteered (sp?) doesn't make things alive, however subconscious the process happens.
    Lawyers are, in a sense, creative with words right? You got this. Also, I suggest typing more furiously to keep the lights on instead.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's funny that you say that, because I am a little infamous around my workplace for typing so loudly and aggressively. Probably not a topic for a future post, but who knows...

      Delete
  5. It's interesting that you talk about a writing voice, because we all have them but what I never realised is that they change over the years. Mine has, even though I've always been Joey. But I must have been channeling different parts of him too. Maybe Adri, Katy, and Nasreen are all parts of you too?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I beleive we also start to see what readers understand and react to. I read my old stuff and it seems like I'm trying to do too many things at once.

      So on one hand, I am chaging my writing in response to reader reactions. But that's not as bad as it sounds, because it has improved my writing. I'm more readable now.

      Delete
    2. As you can probably tell I just write what's on my heart. It's a bonus if the person reading it understands and reacts.

      Delete
    3. Yeah, and I like that about your blog. Mine has always had different sorts of aims, although I'm not sure that this one won't gradually become more stream of consciousness.

      We'll see!

      Delete
  6. I still don't know what to believe and thus, haven't found my commenting voice (says the commenter who uses a pickle avatar). I'm just waving my hands at my keyboard and seeing what comes out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always sort of assumed you were really a pickle with horns so I feel a bit deceived right now.

      I'm not entirely opposed to the idea of leaving people a bit unsure about what they're dealing with, actually. But I'm it's going to be obvious pretty quickly that something as mundane as my existence is probably not a product of fantasy.

      Delete
  7. Replies
    1. I hope so, Cal, especially since I don't have any alter egos to retreat into anymore...

      Delete
  8. I love your writing, but it makes me jealous that I'm not able to write like this. I also have no idea if this is real life or fantasy. Oh well, easy come, easy go.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is this the real life?
      Is this just fantasy?
      Caught in a landslide,
      No escape from reality...

      Delete
    2. Yeah, I'm going to have to figure out how much of myself to show. It would be nice to relate with others on a human level for a change while still launching into my flights of fancy...

      Delete
  9. You're off to a good start! Underground, waving your hands in the dark -- isn't that what all of America is up to these days?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks.

      You know, part of the reason that I'm doing this is because I suspect I'm going to be getting more politically active and I want to be able to share those experiences here.

      I can't do that if I'm not me.

      Of course, it might be safer to speak up as someone else, come to think of it. We'll see how this works out.

      Delete
  10. Photo reminds me of the robot truck in Woody Allen's "Sleeper".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See, if I had used disqus for comments, we could have all seen a picture attachment of the scene in question, but I went with blogger comments instead.

      Blogger comments which, even though it is 2017, still cannot be edited...

      Delete
  11. Wow superb image crazw ha ha even i mconfused who is the realone probably a 5th person.who ever is real all characters r writing excellently.you will succed here too

    ReplyDelete
  12. Ah i loved that waving hands part.it isfunny and picturesque

    ReplyDelete
  13. The professional unmucker attempts to unmuck the muck of his own creation. Sounds like a blog worth reading.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha. It always seems easier to straighten out other people's messes, as opposed to my own.

      Delete
  14. I'm in! These have been good rides and appear to be continuing, voice or no. Mucking and unmucking are really the essentials of life as we know it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My old theory that people will only come around to read if they can simultaneously look at pictures of girls might be getting disproved here.

      Delete
  15. “No. No, you’ve mucked this all up by trying to do it yourself.”

    That statement reminded me of one of my coworkers. While he seems like a functional adult I've known him long enough to realize he shouldn't be allowed to touch anything more dangerous than a fishing pole. Truthfully, in my darker moments upon hearing him say something about the world, or anything remotely serious, I can't shake the idea that people like him shouldn't be allowed to reproduce.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha... There are some people in this world who attract disaster. They say they are merely unlucky, and maybe they are.

      I see a lot of them. I have to report the next impending disaster to my co-workers. "Well, we need to get ready. Danny's taken up tightrope walking" (or whatever).

      Delete
  16. A way back, I was a legal assistant and worked for the judges here. A few times, I had to unmuck something someone had done for herself (usually a battered wife trying to get away.) I could not practice law, but I know what evidence is, and how to put it together so that a court can read it and make the decisions.
    Now I work after school for our public schools. We keep the lights down to keep the costs down. This piece resonated. :-)
    I am/was a huge fan of Nasreen and her writing. I'll be fine, I'm just happy to know everyone's all right. I was worried.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for saying that, Ali.

      Yes, there are a lot of people who, no matter how many tips you give them, you can look them in the eye and immediately see they're never going to be able to manage a case on their own.

      Delete
  17. Harry, I think you're doing great! I'm very interested in everything you are telling us!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Stacy. it's going to take me a while, but I'm happy with how things are going so far and how everyone seems to be giving me a chance.

      Delete
  18. I am left wondering if you have any musical talent or not. A thing I read in one of Christopher Hitchens books was he believed musical talent and the ability to write fiction were related. Most of the authors he became friends with, if they could write fiction, they also played a musical instrument with some level of skill beyond novice. It was why he believed he could not write fiction as well, and stuck to non fiction in his books.
    Likewise I have no musical gifts to speak of, which may be why I could not pull off what you have done to this point. Admittedly I was not around for all of the characters you created from whole cloth, but I admire the effort as it is a club that will never be found in my bag.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, that's a cool theory. It makes sense. I'm not exactly a gifted musician, but music has always been primary to me. With writing, being a bigger fan of music than literature makes me approach writing in a non-linear way. Usually, I'm not just trying to get from Point A to Point B.

      Delete
  19. This is a surprise. As much as anything can be truly surprising in our virtual world anymore. I started at the end of your trio with Nasreen. I thought it was real but I was a bit surprised that the blog had not been around longer. This "in character" thing (mostly discussed in the last post comments) reminds me of an interview of Stephen Colbert. It was difficult from him to come out of character for his new late night show.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can relate with Colbert. It's hard to write as myself. For starters, quirks and imperfections are easier to admit when it's not really me I'm writing about.

      Colbert's old character was one big quirk/imperfection.

      You don't have to impress anybody about how wise you are when it's not really you.

      Delete
  20. That picture.....
    I took this story in two ways.
    The first, a man who worked in the law library of a prisoner. Second, the prisoner in the law library.
    Who shall we decide to be today?
    That picture....may go on my wall....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! This post turned out to be better than I expected.

      Which is a pleasant surprise!

      Delete