Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Nothing Civil in a Civil Suit

Got served with papers on Saturday. I was cleaning gutters and turning compost, an apt activity for such an occasion. I was about as dirty as I've been in a long time and was up to my elbows in wet, decomposing leaf litter when I heard a car in the driveway. I thought it was the postman with a package too big for the box. Instead, it was an obese gentleman with a FedEx envelope that he had opened. Strange, I thought.

He had been hired to serve the papers to me. He does this for a living. I think lawyers pay him and that he has some sort of official status that can't be ignored. So when I said I didn't want them, he explained the federal and state laws that gave me no choice in the matter. He liked Hoover, told me about his dead dog and dead cat and how they were going to co-mingle their ashes and save them so that their own children could add their ashes at the appropriate time and throw the blend off the dock of their house in Florida. How is one supposed to respond to such a story?

A man finds happiness remembering his animals. Another man is angry and seeks revenge. A third is deeply involved with compost and leaf litter. I like to think that I'm easily contented, but I need to find a way to detect underlying anger before I become mired in more legal mudslinging. On the other hand, we are all angry at times. It's a necessary personality component. But there are those people whose lives seem to be ruled by their anger and others for whom anger is a temporary state rather than the foundation of their being. I don't think there are any angry babies, so this must be something one acquires with age.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I liked this one. It almost has the feeling of a short story. Maybe you could expand it.