I woke up at 6 to the deafening klaxon of my alarm. After I had chastised it in the most severe of terms for its sin, I proceeded to snooze it for the next 45 minutes or so. Astonished each time that I woke that the cheeky little thing had the impudence and courage to sound again in the face of my displeasure.
I dragged myself out of bed...correction, I spent the next five minutes pulling off my covers bit by painful bit, allowing the cold of the room to shock some wakefulness into me, without sending me into immediate cardiac arrest. The shower was another struggle. The hot water was irresistible, and I had to call up every last ounce of my self-control to turn it off. Amazingly, I escaped after fewer than ten minutes had passed.
Dressing was an even more difficult challenge. I did not like clothes this morning, and the clothes I did like were not enough clothes, or else, did not match with my new jeans, which I felt it was my sacred duty to wear. It was the kind of morning which will drive you crazy, or worse, to Jefferson Pointe. Eventually I found my way into something that did not offend my person too much, being soft enough not to aggravate my incipient tie rash, warm enough to keep me from dying, and dressy enough to keep me from feeling like a hobo.
Breakfast was the ordinary affair: stick something in toaster, eat it with eggs, repeat. Perhaps slightly more extraordinary, for the loaf of Stollen on the counter. Jonathan had already made the coffee, so I was quickly able to dispel my remaining grogginess.
My dear mother made her appearance just before Eight, or thereabout, and I chatted with her briefly before making my way out to the car. I squared my shoulders, turned up the collar on my coat, and strode purposefully to my car: I had a mission.
In my back pocket was a wallet. In that wallet lay, 1) a speeding ticket, and 2) more cash than I care to have at a given time. The fact that I was soon to give away all that cash did not bother me so much; it was the necessary result of a foolish mistake--a chapter of life to be dealt with and done.
I made my way downtown, parking by the Star Bank on Berry Street; I walked to Citizens square to pay my ticket at the City Clerk's Office, only to have the very nice lady tell me that I had been cited for a State Statute, and the rules are different; that I must go to the "Right, Venerable, Bud Meeks Ultimate Justice Center" to have it taken care of.
Lucky that I am an adaptable animal--and that I dressed on the warm side--I went gallumphing back toward my car. Distracted by the Higher Grounds--and the distraction within the distraction--I took advantage of my pause to call the Casey Family Logistics Command Center to ascertain what was coming. Unfortunately, high command was unable to find any solid intel, so I was going it alone.
I walked the long, cold, lawyer infested stretch to the Hall of Justice. Upon walking in, I had to empty my pockets into a tray. In went my affects. Keys, coins, cellphone, and spring assisted knife: we had a problem. "Cell phones," declaimed the guard, "are banned from the building by court order! You actually violated a court order by walking in here with it. You must put it in your car, and then return, once you have put off your uncleanness." So I trudged all the way back to my car, feeling more than a bit of the latent anarchism that lurks within us all.
Two wrong turns, two unnecessary trips: I despaired that I would ever have time to get through the lines of people waiting to be helped. As I walked my solitary way back through the streets, I could already feel the pressing weight of failure. Yet I knew I had to try. I picked up the pace, and quickly made the return circuit.
Into the tray once more went the knife, keys, and coin. The guards waved me along--I think they were rather more amused by me than frustrated--and I stepped into the large atrium, where various malefactors were waiting to be brought before the Judge. It was then, and only then, that I realized the long line was not for me. I traipsed happily past the long line, to the empty window where tickets are taken care. After a brief, amiable, conversation with the wardens of that good office, they set about getting everything in order, which took a fraction of the time I had expected.
Another pleasant surprise waited at the end. The state ticket, with deferral, cost me about a hundred dollars less than the city ticket would have, and my ticket is waived in half the time.
I left the Hall of Justice feeling complete relief. Partly because it had cost less, but mostly because I knew that flukes in my schedule could no longer cause me to miss the payment deadline, resulting in a warrant for my arrest. My fetters were broken.
As I processed triumphantly toward my car, I realized that I was in closer proximity to Regal's than I would be at any time soon, so I stopped by for some celebratory pipe tobacco, to commemorate my exceeding virtue in getting the state citation as opposed to the city one.
I then found my way to the familiar confines of IPFW, from the library of which, Brethren, I write you this Epistle.