Dream of: 07 November 2002 "A Wolf-Like Animal"

Here I was, at the courthouse, doing exactly what I had hoped I would never have to do again: filing new bankruptcy cases for clients. How could it be? Was I that desperate for money? Apparently so. The two or three cases I was filing would tie me down for years. All I wanted was to be free; yet here I was.

When I handed the papers to the clerk to be filed, I was told that a new law had been passed which required that on each document I must provide a line which read, "Prepared by: _____" . So I quickly set about amending my papers, writing at the bottom of the last pages, "Prepared by: Steven Collier."

When I had finished, a thin black woman (about 30 years old) stepped up to me. She was holding several documents; she indicated the documents were new bankruptcy cases which hadn't been filed – and she offered to give them to me. I held out my hand. If I were going to start practicing bankruptcy law again, I might as well take on as many cases as possible. She handed the files to me, then turned and left.

I looked over the cases: there were six. Why had the woman given them to me? Other attorneys were standing around the office, waiting to file cases; the woman could have easily chosen someone else. I again began adding the "Prepared by" line to each of the six cases. I was glad to have the cases – it would mean more money – but again I had such a sinking feeling of confining myself again in the legal world.

When I was almost finished, Louise walked into the room; apparently she also had cases to file. Probably in her mid 30s, she was dressed in black – lawyer-like. I spoke to her and she acknowledged my presence; but she obviously didn't want to talk. She seemed distracted, almost as if she didn't know what she was doing. Instead of getting into the queue to file her papers, she walked over to an easy chair and sat down.

I walked over to her and looked at her more closely. She looked bewildered, as if she didn't know where she was. She didn't even seem to see me standing in front of her. Her eyes slowly roamed around the room, as if she were looking for something, but as if she didn't know for what she was looking. She seemed to be losing her grip; even her clothes didn't seem to fit right. Her hair seemed somewhat disheveled; and her arms were covered with dark hair. The hair especially caught my attention. She almost seemed to be transforming into an animal which resembled a wolf: she seemed to be losing her mind.

I finally spoke. She seemed to recognize me. I felt sorry for her. Could I help in some way? I continued speaking to her, trying to communicate, trying to reach her; but she seemed in the clouds, only half-aware of my presence. Finally, however, she spoke; she lucidly asked me if I would like to meet her somewhere in an hour and a half. I replied, "I would love to."

With that, I stepped back from her. I still needed to file these bankruptcy cases and I was still worried about them. Was it possible that the black woman who had given me the cases worked for Louise? Maybe these cases were ones which Louise's office couldn't handle because something was wrong with the cases. I flipped through a couple of the documents. Monthly income and payment figures had already been typed in; I would be held accountable for those figures since I was filing the cases. Accepting those figures was risky since I hadn't even conferred with the clients. However, I was still going to take the risk; I felt as if I had already committed myself at this point. Hopefully everything would work out.

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