Friday, November 21, 2008

THE JUDGE-LADY

On Mondays and Wednesdays I take a 4 mile Bike ride to the train Station and take the Train the Courthouse Downtown. I arrive at approximately 4:30 and wait a moment for Rosy to come bouncing around the corner. She is my new friend and she and I are going through the program together.
We ride the elevator upstairs for our Substance Screening.
Its called a "Passport" machine and we look into a viewer that scans our eyes. If we have been bad, it will open a chute in the floor that transports us in front of a Judge, like the one that Dan Akroyd plays in “Nuthin' but Trouble”, who will promptly drop us from the program and send our criminal butts to jail.
(not really, but does anyone remember the scene with the Humpty-Hump?)

But we have been good, and we will stay good and that has not happened.
I always let Rosy go first, then she waits for me and I walk her to her car and we talk to try to get to know each other enough at least to provide a bit of support.

Every other Thursday, I go Downtown and meet my friend Rosy outside the Courthouse. We walk up the pink marble steps into a real nice Judge lady Courtroom, and see the Judge lady that sponsors the program we are in. There are Prosecutors and Counselors and Program Managers and about 80 participants in the program.
It’s a Courtroom like you have never been in before.
There is an air of empathy so thick you could cut it like a steak.
The Judge lady is fair, very fair, and every week there are people who have violated the program.
They stand in front of the Judge lady and are treated very firmly
These people are treated with respect and dignity and assigned to spend a weekend in jail, and attend extra Meetings, and write essays on topics like
“What it takes to Recover” or “What has my addiction cost me” and stuff like that. At the next session of Court they will read their essay.
I think it’s a three strike deal as far as minor violations go.
Every session there seems to be two people that have violated the program often enough or lied to the Judge lady and they are dropped from the program.
Last night a girl was dropped and she will likely face 20 years in the big house.

People that have graduated to the next phase of the Program, there are 4 phases, stand up and are recognized.
People just starting the program stand up to be recognized.
After 4 weeks, Rosy and I have lost one of our group of six who resigned the program. Another did not show last night, a violation.

After last nights session, I was walking Rosy to her car. As we approached a parking lot, there was a car ready to exit, but the driver was on a cell phone and it was difficult to tell if she had seen Rosy and I.
I stood directly in front of the car, made like a traffic cop with my arm extended and hand signaling stop while I waved Rosy through with a flourish of my other hand. The driver looked at me and smiled.
Guess who it was?
The Judge lady!
She rolled her window down and was just laughin’…she says
“You kids need to be careful”
And Rosy says
‘Hi Judgelady!”
And I said
“If it please the court, your Honor should not be driving and talking on a cell phone”
And Rosy pinched me on the arm real hard and said
‘Don’t tell the Judgelady what to do!”
And we all just laughed.
We are going to be just fine.

9 comments:

leslie said...

This could not be more adorable and noble at the same time.

petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

Es, this is probably one of the most honest and sincere pieces I've ever read! Bless you!

Anonymous said...

love ya man... enjoy your post!

GrizzBabe said...

Great post!

soubriquet said...

Haha! Is the cellphone usage just naughty, or illegal? Here, driving and handheld cellphone = sixty pounds ($120:00) and three penalty points on your licence.... If you get 12 points on the licence in, I think a three year period, you get disqualified from driving for a year.
We're allowed to use handsfree kits though.

Anonymous said...

I'm always enjoying your posts. You never know whether the story will turn out to be a Cynic's Tale of Disaster and Catastrophe or, as in this case, really heart warming, happy ending, morale boosters.

"Judge, judge, please Mister Judge, send me to the 'lectric chair" sang Bessy Smith, whom I love. But that has nothing to do with this, it just popped in my erratic head. Oh, and, yes, I remember the movie. But it hurts me as a hard core fan of Dan Acroyd to say I thought it kinda sucked. I only saw it three times. Especially the droopy penis nose was not really my cup of tea.

Hey now, have another good week!

Martijn

bulletholes said...

LES & PIE- Adorable? sincere? I thought it was just a fairly dry narrative of my Court dealy-bop!

hey Anon! Rightbackatcha!

griz iz goin to the chapel!

souby- Not Illegal yet and in this country where people are free to be really stupid, it probably never will be. no disrespect intended to the judge, of course!

Martijn! Sometimes i don't know myself how I'll tell em. I try to hange my viewpoint up.
Yeah, that wasn't the best Movie, but when they start that Humpty-Hump song, and he turns his rolltop desk into Hammond organ and starts jammin' with them it just cracks me up.

leslie said...

Just go with adorable and enjoy it! :)

Mother of Invention said...

It all sounds good! You are making progress and becoming true friends with someone at the same time! I'm proud of ya!! Keep on going .