When we first met, she told me that she just got hired to work at the district attorney's office. I told her, "interesting, I might be sitting at the other table." She giggled and asked, "defense counsel"? With a straight face, I said, "defendant". She laughed even harder. She thought that I was joking. I wasn't.
She was a "junior" prosecutor. They just took her training wheels off. She was allowed to sit at the table by herself, and represent the interest of "the people". They send in the least experienced to be at the table, while charges are read - then the defense, without entering a plea, asked for more time to review the case. The defendant "waives time". The matter is typically held over for another date on the calendar. That's the script. She really doesn't know anything at all about each and every case, and certainly would not be prepared to argue any of them. This is where you get your feet wet. Someone else with more experience will take over the case to move it along to a plea bargain.
She just moved into the 2 bedroom unit across the hall. I guess that's really flaunting her newfound affluence. She could afford a 2 bedroom apartment, and live there alone. I'm still wondering why I told her that there was a vacancy in my building. Now, when I bring other girls over, they will all walk right past her door to get to mine.
I was at the tailgate, getting a cold beer., as she pulled her Prius into the parking lot. The look on her face gave it away. She has had happier days. I grabbed an extra can of beer, and offered it to her as we both headed towards the elevator. As we stepped off the lift, I touched her elbow and sort of walked her past her door to my door. She cracked open the beer can, took several large gulps, then took her shoes off.
She took her shoes off without being told. Then went straight to the sideboard where she poured herself a big glass of Old Bushmills Irish Whiskey. We still haven't said anything to each other. She'll talk when she's ready. I go into the little kitchenette and make a basket of chips. She likes chips. So do I. That's where we do share a common interest. Not so healthy food. Deep fried. I got some chops out of the fridge. Sprinkle a little flour and fry those as well.
She was livid. She finally started yelling at me. "What the f**k was that today? I didn't even know that you had a case pending. How did you and your tricksters slip onto the court calendar at the last minute? Then your lawyer, who just happens to be pals with the judge, files a demurrer and the judge sustains it? It made me look so stupid, standing there with nothing to say, and the judge throws out all of the evidence!"
I didn't have the heart to tell her that my lawyer, who is also the commissioner of The Free Trade Zone, is also a member of a fraternal organization. The judge is also a member. And that the judge was probably financially invested in most of the untaxed cargo moving in and out of The Free Trade Zone. The same Free Trade Zone, on Port Authority property, where the local prosecutor did not have authority or jurisdiction, and that's the real technicality to the case.
Well, it wasn't personal, or about her. It wasn't like they picked a day where she would be sitting at the table. Just as it wasn't personal, when her office got indictments, and my name was on them since they really couldn't name the people who they wanted to remand. They always do that kind of stuff. Cases are brought like that, and dismissed like that all the time. I had nothing to do with it either. I was just along for the ride. It was a setup from the beginning.
For the record, I was indicted. The case was dismissed due to insufficient evidence. For the record, she was the crappy prosecutor who offered no argument when the defense counsel had the evidence thrown out. My lawyer will have that indictment removed from my record as if I was never named at all. Only the bailiff will remember her standing there, babbling, and humiliated. Business as usual. People move containers full of goods (legal, illegal, undeclared, untaxed, whatever) , the local authorities are trying to crack down, and people higher up the food chain are getting rich as the cash flow is not interrupted.
The system is very corrupt, from top to bottom. Some people get rich off it. Some people, like us, are just pawns and soldiers. A game of leverage, played by the influential , and money was moved around to keep score. None of these people are doing it for the money. They were already wealthy. They just enjoyed deploying strategy.
I'm wondering if the chopped and minced greens from radish tops counts as a vegetable.
I went to The Grocery Store. Bought 6 items. $37.05. I clipped all of the store's weekly advertisement coupons. I even got an extra $1 off. In my mind, I was thinking that $37.05 was too high. The bottom of the receipt showed that I saved $58.58. The full retail price of my 6 items was $95.63! Wow! Talk about sticker shock.
What do you call a cousin in law? The guy who is married to my cousin - do I just call him my cousin?
The sun was out. Warm. A good day for home haircutting. Plenty of natural light so that you can see all the mistakes. I cut my Dad's hair. I'll cut hair for anyone who shows up. No big deal. As long as they know that they'll get the haircut I know how to do. I'm not a barber. I can do 1 haircut. Close shave on the sides and back. Short on top. The kind of haircut that old men, children, and military people get. The crew cut, on the barber shop poster.
It's a Sunday. The guy who married my cousin dropped by. He had his son with him. I call the kid my nephew. He's a teenager now. Old enough to eye the Harley. I told him, "keys are in it, just bring it back full". His Dad laughs. There's no gas gauge on that old Harley. You just have to open the gas cap, and fill it up. It doesn't matter how little is left. Then he explains to the kid that this family all has the same haircut, because we're all too cheap to spend money at a barbershop.
I tell the kid to get me a beer. I give better haircuts after a few. The kid turns his head towards the door. She didn't come in through the "OUT" door. She wasn't wearing a raspberry beret. But she was wearing very revealing gym clothes - a tank top and yoga pants. As with a lot of girls these days, the fabric was white, and sheer enough to see through. Quite the outfit to go with her hijab.
The Girl Next Door.
You're not supposed to talk about religion and politics. This was the elephant in the room, and the elephant is lifting a leg. Religion and politics are like a salad bar. Take as much of what you like. Leave the rest. Ignore it. Pretend it isn't even there. She's wearing a hijab, to preserve her modesty - lest we all see her hair. But she has no problem with taking a sip from beer.
Beef and broccoli isn't really Chinese food. They don't really eat that in China. It's more likely to be bok choy and pork or chicken. People in China just don't eat broccoli. I don't know why. And they don't typically consume beef. My cousin is explaining this to his son.
I'm making top sirloin on a cast iron griddle. So my cousin also has to explain to his kid that we have to cook some of the pieces twice. To get it well done. The Girl Next Door can't eat the rare red meat, with bloody juices dripping out. It's cultural. A life lesson. She's a guest. We must respect her religion. She gets her very own dish of bok choy and well done steak. We're guys. We don't care about vegetables. We are eating rare steaks with beer. The kid isn't listening. He's too busy staring at her private parts, which are on full display.