Friday, September 25, 2009

Traffic Court

The judge is kind, and funny—joking with some, gently prodding others, “Tell me what happened.”

A young Latino man approaches the bench. Dressed in a pressed black suit, white shirt and tie, accompanied by a lawyer, he stands as the judge reads the paperwork about his case.

“Why are you here?” the judge asks, addressing his remarks to the lawyer. “You could have taken care of this yourself, by mail.”

“May I answer, Your Honor?” the young man asks.

“Of course.

“I asked to appear before you, Sir. You may not remember me… “

“Oh, but I do remember you!” the judge says. “Breaking into a store… a deli, wasn’t it?”

“Yes, Sir, Your Honor—a 7-11. You could have sent me away but you gave me probation. I’m in law school now, because of you.”

“Is that right?” the judge smiles. “That’s wonderful.” He removes his glasses; puts them back on again. “I’m so glad to hear that,” They complete their business and as the young man walks to the door, the judge addresses the room. “This is what happens when it works,” he says. And then he calls my name.

“Is everything okay, dear?” the judge asks gently as I take my place before him, wiping away tears.

“Oh, yes,” I sniffle into the tissue that I am now smart enough to carry. “Fire away.”

1 comment:

Katie O said...

you should tell longer stories. I'd read the whole thing.