The drive was uncomfortably hot, it made me dizzy. The sun glared on my black suit, and
my father’s tie strangled me. We spun on country roads, making sure I wouldn’t be late. My parents
lectured me on how to behave in the courthouse: stand up straight, act responsible, and impress
the judge, like I was going on some kind of date or something. We arrived in front of this degrading
courthouse. The columns were pathetic in size, it was pretty much a white box that sat in dead grass.
There wasn’t any parking nearby, so I had to walk what felt like half a mile under the torching sun.
My dress shirt was now soaked in sweat, and of course the courthouse didn’t provide any outside
shade. I waited for my parents next to the town drunk, hunched over slurring away at people, already
intoxicated at nine in the morning. I grabbed onto the rusty staircase railing as I took my last law-abiding
steps, I was about to discover the inevitable injustice of a courthouse.
There sat a handicapped court security officer, a man so mundane and old he could have
witnessed the birth of this rustic courthouse. My worried mother and I went into the elevator where we
were surrounded by the smell of poverty: cigarette smoke, body odor, and a man with halitosis that had
no control over his hard breathing. The elevator doors screeched open, finally we were on the top floor;
I swore to take the stairs on our way out. No seats were left in that congested hallway leading to the
courtroom, so I had to lean up against a wall. I pulled out my book to calm my aggravation over being
here, but I was too distracted by some revolting parents complaining about their children. I already felt
like I was in jail.
Everybody was called to the courtroom in front of the judge, the moral umpire. He was balding,
and what a wrinkly forehead he had. Coated in sweat under his layers of fat, he impatiently requested
a handkerchief from his secretary. Only then could he begin ranting over what was not permitted in
the courtroom. As he wiped his wrinkly forehead he started the list: There is to be no gauge earnings,
sagging, sweat pants, this or that, and all doing so while targeting the individuals that would likely fail to
meet these restrictions. He didn’t look at me. With fear in his tone, he informed us how he threw away
some expensive earnings pointing to the trashcan close to him. Finally we were dismissed, my patience
was running low being here.
Back I went to waiting in the cramped hallway just to have my name called, this time I got a seat
at least. Names were now being called to the courtroom, fortunately my name was near the top of the
list. I gave my seat to my mother, she looked like she was having a harder time than I was. Faces left the
courtroom with disappointment, there must be a good judge in there I thought.
I was told to plead delinquent so I wouldn’t have to be here several more times and force my
parents to pay my lawyer double to try to fight the case. “Adam Bourque” roared the court officer, my
case was now in session. I noticed how there wasn’t a jury, and I acknowledged this overweight judge
would have almost complete power to decide a fair ruling; I had low expectations of that happening.
My lawyer addressed me where to sit, and then suggested a proposal to the judge. The judge seemed
offended at the proposal, “You don’t bring dope to a school parking lot” he directed at me with his
proud southern accent. I didn’t even have to say anything to him to get a harsh response. Unaware that
the judge was misinformed by a court designated worker, my lawyer was shocked at this response while
I continued to look at the judge with such indifference. I was already too aggravated to be provoked by
some , and I think that enraged him even more. I thought it was ignorant for a man with such power
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