Tuesday, December 04, 2012
emptying my drawers
I am back in Salem. Once again at the task of clearing out the house.
After almost a full month, I have only one room notched on my pistol grip. But it was the big room. My office that had morphed into a sarcophagus of paper and nostaligia.
Monday I started on what should be an easy task. Boxing up the legal files from my decade of private practice. Once boxed, the files will become food for a shredder truck.
Those cabinets are filled with some of the best stories of my life. Some I had completely forgotten until I looked through the files.
Murders. Divorces. Personal injuries. Legal and medical malpractice cases. And thousands of every-day legal problems my clients faced during my 10 years as a legal general practioner.
None of them avalable for public tales -- because everything in those files belongs to the people who came to me with ther issues. Secrets and confidences that will soon belong to an industrial cross-cut shredder.
I was surprised to look down the list of names I represented throughtout the 1980s. I hate to admit it. But I could not remember most of the names. And the faces are mainly just blurs. People who shared some of the most intense moments of their lives are simply erased from my hard drive.
The files did remind me, though, that the work I did was worthwhile. While it was happening, I was the champion of my clients. Using my knowledge to help them work through the American legal system. Often representing clients who "respectable" people would never encounter.
But that part of my life is done. The files are nothing more than snapshots that serve no further purpose.
And, like all of us, no matter how dramatic our moments may be, they will soon shuffle off into oblivion.