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Dream of: 21 April 1982 "Existential Problems"

I was in a small village (somewhat like Patriot, Ohio) in a white building like a store. About 20 other people were in the room, including a man who had been hired to act as a professor and give the rest of us law lessons. Although the class was supposed to began at 9:30 and end at 10:30, it didn't actually begin until around 10 o'clock (someone said the broadcasting didn't begin until 10 o'clock), and therefore it appeared the class would last until 11 o'clock.

The professor sat down on a bench next to me on my right. He began talking and I listened. He seemed to know what he was talking about. He reminded me somewhat of Watkins (a law school professor), except he didn't have a beard. He also looked a bit like Mike Metrinko (the American counsel in Tabriz, Iran when I had been imprisoned there). He spoke about a paper which the class had previously been involved in writing. He had shown a copy of the paper to a person apparently involved with the American Bar Association and the person had apparently given the paper a passing grade, even though (the professor said) some members of the bar hadn't understood how the paper had passed. The paper was now needed to be rewritten.

The professor said the paper had contained part of a poem. He said that poetry was unacceptable, and that any paper containing poetry would definitely fail.

The professor spoke about the problems with writing which law students often had. He also spoke of existential problems. and he said something about not getting married -- he said that a man could go around with plenty of girls out there and that the natural empty-headiness of the girls didn't mater.

When some students began talking, I didn't say anything. Instead, I stood up and began walking around. I saw Bob Morris (a former high school classmate) and walked over to him. He seemed to be facing some of the existential problems about which the professor was speaking. Since I thought he played the drums, I said, "Well that's what you can do, Bob, you can get you a set of drums, and just play the drums. Pound away and that'll kind of take away the pressure."

I walked over to a fellow I knew named Howard. On a chair next to him, lying on its case, was a black musical instrument with silver keys. I thought it was a clarinet, although it was shaped like a saxophone. When I sat down next to it, it slid, and I feared I might have damaged it. Howard didn't notice. As he looked askance at me, I asked, "Well, can I see it?"

He replied, "Yea. OK."

I picked up the instrument and put my fingers on its keys—my right hand on the bottom, my left hand on the top. As I tried to figure out the keys, I recalled my father had a old clarinet, and I thought I should try to get it so I could at least learn what the keys were.

A small metal lever was sticking out of the instrument. I had never seen anything like it. It felt as if it did something to the inside of the instrument. Referring to the lever, I asked Howard, "Do you use that much."

He replied, "No, hardly ever."

I pulled on a second smaller lever. I still didn't understand what the levers were for. I asked Howard, "Do you use that any?"

He replied, "Yea, I use that quite often."

I asked him if he knew the proper fingering for the note "C." He didn't know. I said, "Well, you probably just cover all the keys."

I pressed down all my fingers and stuck the head piece (which had a reed) into my mouth. I began blowing, but nothing came out.

As I fingered the instrument, the professor continued to talk. The discussion had turned to people's opinions of lawyers. I stood up and said, "You know, I really don't have that much respect for lawyers. It's hard to be a member of a class for which you don't have any respect, cause the other members soon find out, and become offended by the fact. They in turn lose respect for you."

As I spoke, I thought of Lou Khourey. I knew I respected him, even though he was a lawyer, but I continued to explain that it seemed to me that most lawyers I knew were only concerned with partying. When the lawyers finished working, they partied.

Some people smiled at my comments. I continued, "They don't care about who they defend. They'd defend anybody if they could make money."

I recalled the movie Justice for All, in which a lawyer had defended a murderer who had been acquitted and who had then killed someone else.

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