Vital Signs

A Burial Shroud

Monday was a good day, typical of good days in its variety. I was on the phone with another lawyer trying to settle a whiplash. His unlicensed truck driver ran into the rear of my man's ear with a 50,000-pound cement truck. This case will settle.

Another client called. She was ostensibly concerned about her disability case. She talked about her distress because the Veterans Administration Hospital is, yet again, releasing her psychotic husband. I listened and made the noises humans make for one another, rather as horses stand head to tail in the summer pasture, their tails whisking away one another's flies.

On another matter, I billed and got $1,450, also the mark of a good day. Disraeli said of the race horse owner Danebury, "He valued the acquisition of money on the turf, because there it was the test of success. He counted his thousands after a great race as a victorious general counts his cannon and his prisoners." We entrepreneurs eat what we kill. There are no Mondays, but there are no Fridays, either.

In the afternoon I showed a house which is tied up in a receivership to potential renters. They are black, have eight children and grandchildren. She gets Aid to Dependent Children. He started to tell me what he earns and does not report. I said, "Stop." She said, "Oh, there's a live-in rule, it's all right if he's not really my husband." I said I thought...

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