Sunday, January 12, 2014

Mark Your Calendar: My Trial Dates

     The government has set a date for a trial in my case.
     A trial, without an explanation for the SWAT raid on my clinic?  A trial, without enumeration of charges that have any connection to reality?  A trial, without a crime?
     The court has announced that each side may conduct "no more than thirty depositions" which may take "no more than seven hours each."  My lawyer says we have to move quickly, because there is a lot to do before then.
     I keep asking, "What have I done?"  but there are no answers.  I am straining to hear, but like one afflicted with deafness, who has not yet accepted the affliction, I can't hear a thing.
     Are there answers?  Or is it n more than noise, the clang of plastic and metal at a garbage dump.  It's our government doing this, and I'm supposed to be respectful, the way the lawyers are.  They talk to one another about my case, across an arid expanse of injustice, like real professionals, with interrogatories and depositions, motions and hearings, services of process, amended hearings, continuances and other couture of judicial "proceedings," the dressing-up that adds verisimilitude to a scarecrow.
     A nurse who worked in my clinic, a seasoned man with experience that included years in emergency room trauma centers and prisons, who claimed to have "seen it all," once told me the story of the worst accident victim he had ever treated.  It involved a steamroller.
     Those of us who work in the medical field talk intensely with one another, when we have time, as a way of unburdening the suffering we carry in our chests.  This particular conversation took place seven or eight years ago, during a rare pause in our clinic schedule, because we stood in the break room drinking coffee and picking at a box of cookies, waiting for the next rush of patients, and telling stories.
     We must have been feeling that constriction in the chest that comes from holding too much grief inside, grief that can be unstopped, a little, by opening the valve of real human interaction, because we were relating the most heartrending medical cases in our careers.
     The nurse's story was of a deaf man who had been standing directly in the path of a steamroller.  The driver of the steamroller was "on a roll," saw the man, and honked his horn with great energy.  But the man's back was to him, and he didn't move.
     "The guy must have been mentally impaired," he said, "because the steamroller operator said he honked and yelled the whole way, and couldn't stop.
     Not hearing what was coming toward him, the man didn't know to move.  Not able to translate the rumbling in the ground as potential danger, he stayed where he was, looking the way people do in a trance.
     Steamrollers are tremendous, bulky machines that can't be made to change direction at the last minute, so the poor man was killed.
     "He was flattened like a pancake," the nurse said, shaking his head, "and that's how they brought him into the emergency room." 
     "How can such a thing be possible?" I asked.  I was wondering how a grown man's physique, filled with pulsating organs and warm blood, and with a spongy brain sparking neurons like fireworks, and with bones like the branches of a sycamore tree, could be flattened.
     "You know those cartoons where a guy is run over and looks two-dimensional?" the nurse asked..
     "Yes," I said.  "Like on 'Road Runner,' where an innocent bystander comes along afterward, and holds him up like a sheet of cardboard."
     "That's what it was like," the nurse said.  "There was nothing we could do."
     The nurse had never been able to put the horror of the memory out of his mind, and now it's stuck in mine.  I have felt very sorry for that man, whom neither of us ever knew. 
       Like a steamroller, the government has started moving toward me, it's accelerating, and it cannot stop.  I should move, but I don't know what direction it's coming from;  the clamor seems to come from all directions.  There may be innumerable steamrollers--the government has great stores of heavy equipment--headed in my direction.
     The date of my running-over, the dates for my "trial," that is, though no criminal charges have been made, let alone proven--is September, 8, 2015 to September 23, 2015..   Put it on your calendar, if you care want to watch.

No comments:

Post a Comment