Tag Archives: lawyer

She Hates Numbers

Leave a comment

Filed under women

September 5, 1980, a letter to my Nana


September 5, 1980

Dear Nana,

I am sorry I didn’t send you a birthday card on time. I didn’t forget, I bought a card and addressed it and put a stamp on it and everything, I just neglected to drop it in the mailbox. And since it was late anyway, I figured I would just save up some money and get you a present to go along with it. So just prepare yourself for an extra-special present. I won’t give you any hints, either. So just sweat it out.

Everything is going just fine. My job is going well, except the work is not all that interesting. But at least I have plenty to do. Mr. Perkins is in Canada right now, doing some work for the Canadian government, so that’s why I can write this letter at work. Because there’s not all that much to do.

Has Mom gotten me an application for the U. of Fla.? I’m going to apply to U.C.L.A. also. Then when the time comes I will have two options. But no matter what I decide I will be home for Christmas. So don’t worry about that. I wouldn’t miss another Christmas with all of you. I’ve already missed two. So no more.

I almost got a dog the other day. They keep dogs at work, two of them, and there was this other dog that started hanging around. He was a stray and he was really skinny. Then about two days ago he showed up limping. His hip was all out of joint, and he was scared of everybody. So I told Mr. Perkins about it and he said that if I could catch him and take him to the vet’s that he would pay the bill if it wasn’t too much. So I caught him by feeding him and then grabbing him. I took him to the vet’s and they X-rayed his hip but it was too badly crushed and it would cost over $300 to fix it. So we had him put to sleep. I felt so bad about that. I cried and cried. You know how I am about animals.

I have decided to major in prelaw. It’s a big decision but it’s something that I want to do. A lot of reasons persuaded me. And besides, lawyers run in our family. This is the fourth generation – your dad, mom’s dad, and my dad, and now me. I’m the first woman to do it. It’s about time the women in this family took advantage of their brains. Grandpa Geremia says that we’re smarter than all the men anyway.  Look at Mom!   She’s got a lot upstairs, and the only reason she didn’t get a chance to take advantage of it is because she’s a woman and women are the ones who get the short end of the stick always. I’ve really been getting interested in promoting women’s rights lately.

Throughout history, men have had all the power. And I’m tired of it. I heard on the radio that women comprise 53% of the population, yet in the Senate there are only two women. 2 out of 100. That’s certainly not even close to equal representation. Women don’t even get respect. At work here, I’m treated like some cute little girl who is just learning to tie my shoes. And I resent it. Of course, I don’t complain because I need to get along with these people, but I resent it all the same. I read in a book called The Women’s Room that “people may hate niggers and Puerto Ricans and Chinks, but at least they are afraid of them. Women don’t even get the respect of fear.” And it’s so true. Look at you, Nana. You have the makings of one hell of a politician in you. You’re a terrific leader. You have charisma. But you haven’t done it. Maybe because you didn’t want to, but maybe because you were afraid. Oh, I don’t know. Remember when they wanted you to run for City Council? You could have won easily. You could still win. I think you ought to do it. After all, Reagan’s over 68 years old and he’s running for public office.

By the way, do you know what I’ve heard about Reagan?

  1. He believes in astrology.
  2. He accused Carter of being in cahoots with the KKK when he himself refused to address the NAACP.
  3. When he was governor of California, he wanted to cut down the Sequoia trees in the parks because he thought that “once you’ve seen a tree, you’ve seen a tree.”
  4. He set troops out to quell student protest when the students had stated their pledge of nonviolent demonstration.
  5. He’s against abortion even in cases of rape. True, not many women who get raped conceive a child due to the trauma of it, but it does happen. And why should a woman give birth to a child of rape?

True, Carter is in many ways no better than Reagan. But I don’t want to vote for Carter, either. I want to vote for Barry Commoner. Barry Commoner believes in solar power, he wants to bring back the railroad system as a form of mass travel, he doesn’t believe in war and huge military budgets for no reason, and he believes in letting people come first in government. He believes in the nationalization of the energy industry. No one is perfect, though, and I realize that campaign promises are sometimes just that, but I feel that Barry Commoner is a better candidate than either Carter or Reagan. But he’s not perfect, either. I’m not being swayed by some Godlike figure or anything. He’s just an ordinary person.

Let’s talk about the nationalization of the energy industry for a moment. (Don’t I sound grown up, Nan?) Did you know that one of the reasons nuclear power plants are becoming more widespread even though they’re so dangerous is that the oil companies own all the uranium minds? The reason no one has developed solar power yet is because the oil companies can’t buy the sun.

Let’s face it, sooner or later we’re going to run out of everything – coal, natural gas, oil, even uranium. The only thing we will have for billions of years is the sun. Everything on this planet was created by the sun. The oil was made from algae deposits that were fueled by the sun. The sun is a clean, safe source of energy. So why don’t we use it? Because it’s also free. There’s no way to rent sunlight because it’s free. No one can own it. So the people who control this country, i.e., the huge conglomerate corporations, aren’t too thrilled over the prospect of unlimited amounts of free energy because they’ll go bankrupt.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not against free enterprise or anything. What I am against, though, is when the profit margins of Exxon go up 200% in one year. That’s going too far. Profit is fine, but 200%, when the whole world is being squeezed dry because of the high prices of fuel? That’s un-humanitarian, and disgraceful.

Did you know that Nestles, the chocolate corporation, also manufactures infant formula? In third world countries like Nigeria and India and the like, they were telling uneducated mothers that infant formula was superior to mother’s milk. At precisely the same time, doctors in this country were finding out that mother’s milk was in fact the best thing for babies. That nothing was superior for infants. But did Nestles stop telling them that? No. Their profits in this country were going down because of the drop in sales, so they had to make it up somewhere else. By fooling poor, uneducated, starving people. That’s the kind of thing I’m against.

I guess I’m getting more political in my old age.  That’s why I have decided to major in prelaw. So I can do something about the things that I feel are unfair. Or at least I can try. Like I said, I’m not against free enterprise. What I am against is exploitation and un-humanitarianism.


Filed under ancient history, compassion, development, earth, enlightenment, eternity, faith, forgiveness, god, heart, history, hope, humanity, identity, justice, karma, kindness, law, legal system, life, logic, love, maturity, nature, peace, personal responsibility, science, soul, spirit, spiritual, truth, universe, woman, women, world, youth

edward snowden & me

illustration Edward-Snowden and me

the act of confession benefits the penitent; not the confessor. it is not always appropriate to tell the truth, the WHOLE truth, and nothing BUT the truth. they crucify people for that, both then & now. just how brave am i? time will tell. was edward snowden being brave? or just being a criminal? time will tell. he needs clarence darrow to reappear on earth, i know that much. being a lawyer is in my DNA; it’s not what i do, it’s what i AM. sorry about that. it can’t be helped.

Leave a comment

Filed under notes

Scientific Method, a prose poem

illustration scientific method caviar petrossian

Scientific Method

It is raining on Fifth Avenue.  I see umbrellas in a rainbow of colors but only gray clothes, gray faces, black rain, black streets.  I wait for the sign it is safe to walk, assured God will never deceive me.  The caviar store on the corner is empty again, as usual, except for the man behind the counter.  My existence remains unproved.

I, like Descartes, come from a legal family.  I too am excused from morning duties and allowed to remain abed, contemplating theoretical problems.  This morning from my high window I saw the sun rise over the river.  Fire to light, line to plane, flames on a gray mirror — objects around me glowing.  I imagined an infinity of rulers.  I felt hope rising in me with the sun. Hope for what, exactly?

The fish eggs I buy are tiny black pearls, glued together with brine.  Bursting against the roof of my mouth, juicy exclamations of Universal Wisdom.  I imagine my soul to be something extraordinary and rare, like a flame, coursing through my body.  I exist; I think; I am free of doubt.  When I was a tender baby, with skin like fresh flower petals, who loved me enough to love my soul?  Who breathed dreams into my tiny shell ear?  Who wept over me?  Who wished me dead?

I am like any ancient geometer, my problems beg for elegant solutions.  This curve, this conic slice — where will the truest intersection lie?  A series of three dreams turns me into a timid comedian, hiding behind my garish painted mask.  I am not a soldier in uniform.  Quiet, the air is still — I can feel my heart, unscarred as yet.  It only feels as though it has been broken, that is deception, it is perfectly healthy.

I am already exhausted by so much living.  While I slept as a baby, the whispers came from someone close: I will lie to you for your health; I will mislead you for your own good; I will beat you up for your excuses, I will beat you for your carelessness; I will beat the drum of my own desires, never yours.  Now, the sun is dancing upon the sea.

Neither René nor I like to live long in the same location.  We will change our dwelling place twenty-four times in twenty years.  Think of an infinite number of points.  Across from the caviar store, an icon with a gold halo, painted on peeling white brick.

I pray to you, my silly angel.  Hoping for what, exactly?  For feelings of joy, like a drug….  The joy of watching water move, tickled from beneath by fish fins.  School has let out for summer.  The joy of heated skin as it is plunged into cool water.  Feet in wet sand, toes nibbled by fish; pinched by tiny crabs, scraped raw on rocks.  The pleasure of discovery.

My mind is unclouded and attentive.  I deduce the transition of blood into water, wine into water, wine into blood.  The firm eggs of the caviar burst in my mouth, tangy grains of hope.  Posterity will judge me kindly.

Like me, Descartes could not find leisure and quiet to write until he got away from his family.  Was it the way his father drank?  The drunkenness, the curses, will repeat every evening at sunset.  Children will scream, cry.  Children will beat themselves up for an explanation.  Hope for what, exactly?

René and I both trust thinking more than feeling.  We work hard to free ourselves from the element of probability.  Salty fish eggs, trips to the caviar store, and flare-ups of hope, repeated endlessly.

A toast to us, to our new lives.  René completes his law degree on my birthday.   Both of us will wear robes of black & purple; spread a velvet cowl upon our shoulders.  Envy, we can taste envy: who breathed such curses as we slept?  I have walked in darkness so long, I cannot bear the light of day.  I enter the labyrinth, clutching a flimsy thread.  Curiosity is blind, leads me to risk, to unexplored streets, to black fish eggs in the rain.  It is still raining on Fifth Avenue.


Filed under prose poetry