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.
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.