I’m home early today, in the quiet afternoon. The ferrets were company for a while but they seem to be ready for another nap. The man is off watching boy movies and playing basketball with his brothers. I’m thinking about folding laundry. I’ve been thinking about that all week.
But I’m enjoying the quiet, after spending all day yesterday and a bit of this morning struggling through obtuse legal wordings and outright contradictions between two lawsuits.
I’ve never been a fan of court reporting. It’s an often complicated system to learn on your feet; and it’s almost always depressing. Tempers flair, broken lives fall still further, and there’s a tension in the air, a smell of conflict.
And no matter what I write when it’s over, someone is bound to dislike it.
I guess I’m not a fan of that conflict.
But this story was harder because almost every single statement was disputed. Somebody is lying, no two ways about it. And while most of my job is simply to report what both sides say, I don’t want to publicize lies. And so I struggle to understand mortgage documents and promissory notes that aren’t on record and make calls to attorneys whose answer is “my mama always taught me you go to hell if you lie” and who leaves me wondering if he’s saying the others are hell-bound, or if he’s sentencing himself to such a future.
And I verify the few verifiable facts in the story and have to leave the rest as contradictory statements because how do you prove what somebody said two years ago but most definitely did not write down? And I don’t envy the court, who has the responsibility to completely unravel this tale.
And I dread checking my email or my phone messages, now that the story is printed on the front page.
But I don’t go back until Saturday, and the sun is barely shining through the clouds, and now I am folding laundry and cleaning up and heading to join the man and his family for the pre-Thanksgiving craziness. And I’m grateful for the quiet house and the patter of ferret feet and a life unmarred by the drama that plays out every day in the court systems.
Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!