Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Where the Highway Ends and the Desert Breaks....

You make up your mind, you choose the chance you take
You ride to where the highway ends and the desert breaks
Out on to an open road you ride until the day
You learn to sleep at night with the price you pay.
-Bruce Springsteen

I did something this past Saturday that I should do more often:  I bailed on going into the office.  I earn my living defending civil lawsuits - on behalf of individuals, public entities and businesses.  Litigation is a grind.  Always has been.  Always will be.  One matter closes as another matter opens.  Busy is good because busy pays the mortgage, pays for weddings and a myriad of other things.  Yet regardless of how good it is, it remains a grind.  A relentless, often unforgiving grind. 

Case in point, on Halloween a jury returned a "no cause" verdict, which means the good guys won, in a case that I spent seven days trying and in which the plaintiffs had demanded $4 Million to settle on the first day of trial.  I was a small part of a very well-oiled defense trial team that - at the risk of being immodest (and I really am not because the star of our side was someone bearing zero resemblance to me) - outlawyered the other side from opening bell through closing arguments. 

The jury in that case returned its verdict shortly after 1 PM.  Within fifteen minutes all of us were packed up and on our way out the door - off to our next respective adventures.  It took me close to forty-five minutes to get back to my office.  During the car ride back to Parsippany, I touched base with my claims representative to report the good news to him and then immediately started the process of working on other matters that had been deprived of their usual levels of attention while I had been on trial.  The wheel in the cage continues to turn.  You either keep up - forever - or you fall off and get smashed to bits.  The latter is not pretty.  Not at all.

Saturday morning, instead of spending four or five hours at the office, I simply punted.  Margaret and I ran some errands bright and early and by 9:00 or so I had my running shoes laced up for a nice Saturday morning through town.  The leaves are continuing to fight the good fight.  Although there are considerably more of them on the ground than on the branches these days, the ones that are still hanging on are doing so for all they are worth.  It is as if they recognize just how barren the landscape shall be once they loosen their grip and parachute to earth.  In another Saturday or so there will be little to nothing to see on the trees as I be-bop through suburbia.  But this past Saturday there was still more than enough Autumnal splendor to make even this cynic smile....

....and on a cold November Saturday morning, a five-mile run was indeed a price worth paying to see it firsthand.



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