I had returned to Dallas and had gone to a lawyer's meeting where several lawyers with whom I had gone to law school were going to be present. I walked into a room where the seats were arranged like church pews and I saw Brian sitting in one of the pews on the aisle. I was wearing a sports jacket and underneath it a gray sweater. The sweater had something to do with the last time I had seen Brian and I had worn it especially so he could see I still had it, although it didn't match the jacket I was wearing.
I walked to the pew in front of Brian, turned around toward Brian and looked at him. He was also standing now. He was dressed quite casually in what was probably the latest mode. He had on a red button-up shirt and a thin jacket. He was wearing a colorful pair of pants. I noticed a price tag hanging from one piece of his clothing and I thought he probably had just purchased that piece.Several other people were also standing around us and I noticed they also had price tags hanging from some of their clothing which they had apparently overlooked. I realized they had bought some of the clothes especially for the event we were taking part in. I thought I might be the only one who hadn't bought new clothes. I noticed Cosby (a former fellow law student) sitting down at the other end of the pew I was sitting on.
When Brian sat back down, I also sat down, leaned over to him and said, "I need to talk to you, that is if you'll still talk with me."
He said he would talk to me, although he wasn't overtly friendly. I could understand that. I had talked to him over a year earlier before I had gone to Europe and I had told him I would contact him when I arrived in Europe. But I never had. I felt quite guilty about it and I wished I could repair the damage.
Brian seemed to have changed considerably. His black hair was combed straight up into the air and greased back. He now seemed to be wearing a black leather jacket and he reminded me somewhat of a punker. His language seemed to have become somewhat coarse and in general he seemed a bit cynical.
I told him I had just returned to Dallas from West Berlin a few days earlier. I wanted him to know I hadn't been in Berlin the entire time I had been away, but had been to a number of different places. I wanted to try to portray to him the vastness of my experiences during the preceding year. But I also wanted him to know I had returned to Dallas to practice law for a while and I wanted to clarify to him why I had made that decision.
I began by explaining how I had decided not to work as a lawyer abroad. He acted as if that made sense to him because he didn't seem to think there would be much opportunity to work abroad as a lawyer. I replied "Oh there's plenty of work out there. I'm just not that hip on economic laws."
I wanted him to know that the opportunity to work abroad was there, but that I had for other reasons decided to return to Dallas. Those reasons were basically a feeling of freedom and independence which I knew I would have in Dallas. I wanted him to know I was only planning to practice criminal law in Dallas and I wanted to explain to him a little why I had chosen that. I also wanted to make clear that I didn't plan to restrict myself to Dallas. To the contrary, I still planned to spend a great deal, if not most of my time, abroad. Practicing a bit of law would simply give me the financial means to do that.
The conversation came to money and I told him I had practically no money left. I told him I had spent $15,000-$20,000 during the preceding year. A woman sitting near us overheard me say that and she commented about how much money that was. I couldn't tell whether Brian thought that was a lot. But he and I did begin talking about how much I could earn practicing criminal law in Dallas. I began explaining that while I had been in Dallas I had become acquainted with a couple judges there who gave me a lot of criminal appointments.
On the average, I told him, I made $100 a day for criminal appointments, but I only had to work three hours on the average for each one. That alone gave me $25,000 a year. And if I wanted to push myself and work six hours a day I could be making $50,000 a year. That seemed to me to be a sufficient amount and I thought I could live quite well for that. I knew Brian was making good money from the law firm he worked for and I couldn't tell what he thought.
Finally I stood and walked to the back of the room where I found a bunch of small bars hanging down. I knew they had something to do with criminal law, but I wasn't exactly sure what. I felt I should know, especially since I was intending to specialize in criminal law.
The meeting was just about to begin and Brian motioned me over to a table where he had moved to. I walked over and sat near him. We continued talking although we had to be more quiet because a speaker had begun talking in the front of the room.
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