The alarm goes off at 6:15 a.m. but of course, I go back to sleep. At 6:55 a.m., I wake up frantically, wear my suite that's just too small for me now that I have gained weight, and run out of the house. Thank God for learning how to program my coffee maker, so at least I can have the automatic brew in the mornings.
I have an appearance in Los Angeles Superior Court, downtown. I have to technically argue “our” motion, but this other firm in San Diego brought the motion first, before the case was transferred to us, and guess what? they messed up, wrote a bad motion and I already know we have no chance. So today, predicting what the ruling may be, I plan on “submitting” to the court: “Yes, Your Honor”, “Thank You, Your Honor”, basically, I plan on shutting up, which isn't too easy for me but since I am leaving soon, whatever happens, I don't have to clean up afterwards.
Of course, I am stuck on the 5 Freeway Northbound, right after the 91. I switch radio stations constantly. NPR talks about wars and the White House scandals, while Ryan on KIIS FM talks about people's extra-marital affairs on air. Why can't we have a program that's balanced? Do radio stations even think about commuters on the road?
I am running late. I call the court and let them know I am late. I exit Grand Ave. All the parking lots are full near the courthouse. If I have to pay $17 to park for half an hour, I'd rather be within walking distance (and of course, they only take cash because they are owned by the Mafia).
Finally, I park and start walking. When I get to the door, I ask the security guy where Dept Y is because the busiest courthouse in Los Angeles County does not have a board indicating departments and its corresponding floors (or even if they do, I am too late to find it). He doesn't look at me, which interestingly, reminds me of the Komeetehs/Pasdaars in Iran who don't look at woman during a conversation. He then responds very arrogantly: “I think it's on the third floor”.
I go in the elevator, out the door on the third floor and run into the department, where the hearings have already begun. The presiding female judge is wearing a very bright red lipstick and her highlights bother my still sleepy eyes. (Is it the lipstick or the fact that I am not even used to female judges?)
She calls the case. She tells me (because remember, I represent the “moving party”), that she has denied “our” motion. Duh! And, better yet, there is no room for any oral argument today.
She gives us the trial date, etc. All of a sudden, I like her. She seems to have some degree of control in her courtroom and I like her even more for denying our motion because it means she actually read the law. (you will be surprised how many judges don't bother).
We are done in about 3 minutes. Thanks. All the way from Tustin to downtown L.A., for 3 minutes…
I walk back but take the longer route from the back, where there is a Starbucks. Amazingly, I do that for the nice walk through the somewhat green area, and not to get any Starbucks. Wow. I put my sunglasses on. As I walk down Hill St., it hits me that downtown is alive and I miss it. I remember the summer I interned at the City Attorney's Office, and the evening at MOCA with all that wine… I realize summer is coming and I have always loved L.A. summers, with all its outdoor events…
As I am walking down, I see this guy from Law School that I knew. He is Russian, with a thick Russian accent and big Russian Blue Eyes. I am not in the mood for chit chat and I am always under the false impression that people won't recognize you with sunglasses on…so…I pretend I don't know/see him. Of course, my tactic fails. As he is passing by, he says…”Hey!” I try to look surprised. “Wow. Hi, How are you? Where do you practice?” Blah Blah Blah…we exchange cards. “Let's keep in touch”.
I get back to my car and pay my $17. Get back on the 5 South, back to Santa Ana, where things are just a bit slower. I realize that the worst part about being late to court is not having enough time to do an entire Sudoku puzzle!
And all along, it's just been a very ordinary morning.