Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Apology NOT accepted

Last Thursday while sitting the ER waiting for Gabe to get his chin stitched up, they put some kind of ointment on the cut to numb the area. After about 20 minutes all around the cut the skin was pale, like the blood had been pushed away from the site. When the doctor came in to stitch, Gabe didn't feel anything but some tugging. He was so interested in the cartoons he didn't even know there was a needle involved. As I was trying to hold Anna, she never sits still, I found my self jealous of that cut, wanting some of that ointment for myself, to put on my heart, my soul, so I could go for a few hours without the pain. After it was over Gabe asked what the doctor used to put the holes in his chin with for the string he used. Out of the mouths of babes.

I could call it 'Ointment for the Soul'. Reminds me of the con artist Starbuck in the 1956 movie The Rainmaker selling his wares for the weary, selling hope for those without it.

Monday was not what was expected. We got there an hour before court started and there was already a long line of people coming out of the courtroom curved around the wall way and down the stairs. So, we got in line. 12 of us, 6 family and 6 friends. All kinds of different looking (for lack of a better word) people were coming in, getting in line, milling around. Some looked terrified, some smiling as if to say "here we go again". One of us was smart enough to realize that we didn't need to stand in the line of defendants. So we wiggled our way through into the courtroom just minutes before it court started. It looked kind of like a church sanctuary with long pew like benches on each side but without space next to the wall. I followed Bonni until I realized I couldn't get to where Kerry was. I made it down the long bench to sit and start looking around for "HIM". After a few minutes we all realized that Bonni was sitting next to his mother (we think), his friend, and him. He was sitting as far back into what could be called a corner as he could be, hiding maybe. But we were an awesome troupe, marching in and sitting down 2 rows in front of him. Bonni sat with a large picture of Mary and Tony on her lap flipping the flier from Mary's party over and over. They knew exactly who we were - The Awesome Bunch.

They called the defendants alphabetically, he was case #91 and #92. We girls all had our much needed boxes of tissue, I mostly held my breath. If I breathed much little sounds of anguish would seep out and I didn't want the judge to kick us out. They finally got to the L's. A lawyer over in the opposite corner near the state troopers started talking but it was hard to hear. Something about "now a felony since the BAC....", "continuance....", "thank you judge". We heard November 12th then on to the next name on the docket. We all sat there looking at each other wondering what happened. This was not what the DA said would happen. The man sat in his corner while his lawyer strolled across the courtroom whispering to some, waving to others, like it was a Sunday afternoon on the way to the pool hall. When he reached his defendant, mumbled a few words (Bonni couldn't hear), they all stood up and started walking out. Then we all stood up and made a mass exodus at the same time.

When we got out in the hall way he was again in a corner talking to his lawyer. We all wanted to go over and listen but propriety stopped us. They finally walked through us and
one of Mary's friends handed the man a picture of Mary, he took it, and they continued into a room. After a few minutes out they came. We were still gathered at the top of the steps and again he had to walk through us. That's when I looked him straight in the eyes. I wasn't near him (that would have been too tempting) but he looked at me and averted his eyes. His lawyer wouldn't look at any of us, but they both knew who the group of sad, sobbing people was.

I followed him out of the court house and stood at the retainer wall watching him looking over his shoulder at us. Then I saw Bonni following him to his car, talking to him, and tears started dropping but without sound. It was as if it was March 31st all over again. I couldn't catch my breath, my mouth was open but nothing was coming out. I was watching my self scream from the outside in. I wanted him to hear me, to see what he had done us, but he kept walking. What did I expect him to do? I haven't a freakin' clue. Nothing he could have done would have made any difference except that I wanted to torture him as he had tortured us. Bonni said to him, "there are 12 people here whose lives you have devastated". She said other things but I can't remember. He said he was sorry and apologized. She said, "apology not accepted", and watched him drive away.

We all went to Mary and Tony's house, ate lunch together, told stories, cried, laughed, cursed, hugged and said goodbye to house. I will never go back there again.

You can get 20 years of jail time for possessing a marble size piece of heroin, 3-4 years for animal cruelty, but only 6 - 9 years (or less) for killing another human being. I don't understand, just don't understand.

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