The criminal matter is resolved.
Do you want to know what happened?
As part of a plea deal crafted by the DA and my lawyer, I plead NO CONTEST to a misdemeanor. My sentence? An 18 month gagging order and a 52 hour course in anger management.
There was no jail time, no fine. It was all over in 20 minutes.
I smoked a cigarette outside the courtroom. So did the DA. She sat there in her black coat. Sitting where she always sits. Behind a wall.
Like a naughty school girl. Smoking.
And I felt like it was going to be OK. Because she was smoking too.
The judge said goodbye, the bailiff smiled. The stenographer watched with interest.
I said goodbye to my lawyers and drove to Venice.
I had a lot of thinking to do.
Her name was Natalie Volk. She was very apologetic. Her husband got out of the car. Natalie must have been 80 years old, he was older. She touched the back of the car to make sure it wasn’t all a bad dream.
We exchanged personal details. I’m not going to call her insurance people. I know what they’ll do to her. How punitive they can be.
I paid for their gas. I made it seem like a terrible imposition.
Absurdly, I didn’t want other people to think I was being hijacked.
I went to buy myself a soda. The woman at the checkout said, “That was really kind of you, they were homeless.” She smiled and said, “I’ll pay for your soda.”
I felt badly that I hadn’t been kinder to the homeless women.
On my way out of the service station I saw the most beautiful black man. A solid wall of muscle. He was walking up Lincoln Avenue. I circled around until I found him. I stopped the car and asked him what he was doing.
I dropped him off at his apartment. He invited me into his empty place.
At 5am I drove him to the gym where he worked.
Perhaps I should have given him more? More than a chai latte?
As I drove home up the PCH. Looking over the Pacific Ocean. I thought about the previous day.
All that public money wasted. All that time taken by highly paid District Attorneys, Attorneys who could have been solving real crimes.
Money that could be spent repairing a local school. Money that could have been spent investigating white-collar crimes.
I was listening to John Martyn. Solid Air. Synthesized sea gulls. A heartbeat. My heart is still beating.
Whatever may happen. How ever bad it gets. It is is up to you… yes you… you can turn the worst things that happen into the most extraordinary adventure.
As anyone who has a creative bone in their body knows, to carve something artful out of wherever you find yourself… well. It’s up to you.
So, it was no coincidence that, after I spoke to the reporter about The Trust Act, after my involved and specific conversation with the lawyer, after I had recorded the Youtube video….
I sat down at my desk and rewrote the ending of my script.
What a killing crime this love can be.
This is for you Daddy. You bad, bad man.
On Friday at 10am I will stand before you all again, on your televisions, in your newspapers, sparking up the internet.
Damning the authority.
On behalf of the brown people.
And after it is all over? I am left on my own. Well, that’s not entirely true. Because I have you.
I want to tell you about my neck. The arthritis in my neck. The arthritis that makes my arms numb. My fingers tingle.
I am pleased not to share that with anyone.
The audience is singing along with the familiar tune.
It is 2am. The dog is farting. He’ll want to go out in the middle of the night.