Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Inevitable Fate of the Other Shoe

Sometimes no truth is more powerful than one
expressed in anger by a melancholy man. 

- Pete Hamill

I have long asserted that the most onerous part of my day-to-day is interacting with other members of the tribe.  In my experience, a disproportionate number of the world's problems trace their origin directly back to us humans.  Far too often - an unforgivably high percentage of the time when one considers our purported ability to think and to learn from our mistakes - it is our cavalier disregard of the responsibility that comes along with occupying the perch atop the planet's food chain that serves as the catalyst for misery.  Misery we inflict with a disturbing level of nonchalance on one another.  More disturbing than that is the manner in which we heap it upon the lesser inhabitants of the planet - species whose programming has advanced no further perhaps than stimulus/response.  Creatures whose brain function is too limited to permit them to recognize us as the potentially malevolent forces too, too many of us opt to be. 

On more than one occasion I have used this space to extol the virtues of a human who gives the rest of us in the tribe a good name - and some of us a far better name than we deserve.  It has been my privilege and my pleasure that Dave Lackland has called me his friend for the better part of the past thirty-five years.  And for all of the ills and evils of "social networking", it remains one of my great joys to have reconnected with Dave through Facebook and to have been invited to drop back into his life at this point in his journey.  To refer to Dave as "good people" is to be guilty of understatement.  That is an offense I rarely - if ever - commit.  

It was in this space roughly eighteen months ago that I shared Dave's extraordinary relationship with Carl, an Iguana from the neighborhood where Dave lives down in the Keys.  Carl and Dave had bonded quite a long time prior to my mentioning them here.  The depth of their relationship was such that after two neighborhood kids killed a number of the other members of Carl's group with a bow and arrow - and left Carl for dead with an arrow through his head - Dave nursed Carl back to health.  

Tuesday morning as I sat in depositions in an office in Fort Lee, my cell phone lit up with a number of messages from Dave.  While it is often difficult to discern tone from the written word, it was not difficult to hear the hurt and anger in Dave's voice as I read his words.  The same two cretins who savaged Carl's iguana group in the fall of 2011 decided to finish what they had started.  Dave had not seen Carl - or Carl's gal pal Blue - since Mother's Day weekend.  He did not want to harsh Carl's iguana mellow so Dave had not gone looking for him - presuming at first that Carl was simply occupying himself doing something other than chilling on Dave's dock and hanging out with Dave and Dave's young son Indy.  When Dave went looking for Carl earlier this week - he went to Carl's nest, which is located in a tree across a lagoon from Dave's home.  There he found Carl and Blue.  Both were dead.  Both had been killed - shot in the head with a round fired from a pellet gun.  Neither Carl nor Blue had opposable thumbs.  Murder-suicide is therefore not a working theory of the crime.  

At this moment in time, my old friend Dave Lackland feels very much like a man on an island.  He lives among people whose number includes at least one family whose members exhibit a callous disregard for those around them and, due to apparent lack of popularity of iguanas in the Keys everywhere OTHER than on Dave's dock, local animal control and law enforcement have turned an ear that if not totally deaf is at the very least in need of an assistive device.  A number of folks who know, love and value Dave have been offering him counsel these past few days.  Counsel that they know and he knows is good, solid advice.  Counsel that they know - as he knows - it shall be very hard for him to follow. 

I am not a believer in coincidence.  Yet yesterday morning when I got to my office and peeled off the day before's entry on the Lawyers Day-by-Day Calendar that Suzanne bought me for Christmas to reveal the entry for May 22, it struck me that its appearance was so timely as to appear to be coincidental: 

Whether Dave finds it any easier to take the words of Henry Fonda to heart than he might perhaps find it to take mine I know not.  I hope he does.  If one believes in Karma, then one believes that the world will exact its price from the young asswipe who Dave believes murdered Carl and Blue.  For that particular young man, the object in the sky is neither a bird nor a plane.... is the other shoe.


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