One day I was supposed to meet Brian (whom I first met in 1981 when we started law school together) at his house about 1 p.m. But I let the time slip by and I didn't go. Finally around 5 p.m. I went to his place and walked up to the door. Through the screen I could see a middle-aged man dressed in work clothes doing something in the kitchen. I asked him if Brian still lived here. He replied that amazingly enough he did. It was apparently amazing because the house needed quite a bit of repair work, which the landlord had put off doing.
I walked in. Although Brian lived here, the man told me Brian wasn't home at the moment. I wasn't surprised since I hadn't expected him to have waited all afternoon for me. I decided I would leave him a note and I began looking for some paper. Another younger man also helping with remodeling the house pointed to a pad of paper on the table. I picked the pad up and looked for a blank page; but all the pages seemed to have something written on them. Many numbers were on the pages and it looked as if one of the workers here had used it for doing calculations on.
Finally I found enough space on one of the pages, tore out the blank part and began writing on it. But when I wrote Brian's name I messed up the "a" and decided to begin again. I tore out another blank piece and began writing, "Dear Brian. Sorry about this afternoon. No excuses. Just negligence ...."
When I put down "Just negligence" I wondered if that was correct. It seemed I had intentionally not come and that negligence might not actually be the right way of putting it. I wrote some more, but when I finished I wadded the paper up.
I decided instead to write my message in some milky film on the top of some tea in a cup sitting on the table. I wrote my message in the film and when I finished, my message could clearly be seen. But the film quickly seemed to curl up and the message became indecipherable. So I un-wadded the paper again and decided to leave it.
My message soon became unnecessary because Brian suddenly returned. I quickly muttered my apologies about not having come on time that afternoon. He seemed a bit perturbed, but he didn't appear to hold it against me. But he was unsure what we could do now. He mentioned something about a movie. He said it was Monday and that there was something in particular he liked to watch on Mondays. I asked him what language it was in and he said it was on public television and was in English. It would begin in 15 minutes at 6 o'clock.
He said if I wanted to I could leave and come back at six. But there seemed no point in doing that, so I decided to just stay and wait. I sat down and we began talking.
Brian immediately told me he had decided he wanted to become a law clerk. I assumed he was talking of clerking for the United States Supreme Court. I remembered the last time I had talked with him he had wanted to do something quite different and I said, "You remind me of me -- you change so much. I want to be a clerk too."
I stood up and told him I wanted to work in a foreign law office; since I wouldn't be qualified to practice law in another country, I would have to take a clerking position. He seemed dubious that I couldn't work as a lawyer, as if he knew American lawyers who practiced abroad. I quickly explained that I could practice law once the particular country granted me permission, but that I would still only be able to give legal advice concerning United States law.
Brian was also standing. He turned toward the sink and asked, "What if you had a minority problem in Greece?"
I replied, "I haven't the slightest idea. I would have to research each individual question like that."
I then continued saying that at some point after I had worked in the international area long enough I would be better able to answer questions like that.
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