Ten Years Gone – Part One

Now here’s a little story I’ve got to tell
About three bad brothers you know so well
It started way back in history
With the Rock of D.C., X of J.D., and me – Donzell the future PD.

Alright, that is enough of bastardizing one of my favorite songs from Beastie Boys. Let’s get to the story.

It was ten years ago that I escaped from the asylum, law school. After I was liberated from the asylum, I failed to do something that my recently fellow inmates were doing, which was studying in preparation to take the bar exam. I decided to do this because I was burned out on the study of law. To be honest, I did not know if I wanted to be an attorney or what I wanted to do with myself. Nevertheless, good fortune smiled upon me. I was working with a local lawyer in Athens as a law clerk, and making decent money. I had a decent social life, and I was starting to spend time with someone that I really cared about. Yet, lady luck did not smile at me for very long.

In very short order, my social life went from being decent to dead. Most of my friends from law school scattered away from Athens on the four winds to the four corners of the earth. The work at the attorney’s office dried up, and came to an end. I had a number of serious auto repair problems come to fruition at one time. The grace period for my student loans was coming to end. All of my job leads were for naught. With no job prospects on the horizon, I had to cash in my 401(k) from my part time job just to survive. I knew that money would not last, and at 27, I had to move back home to live my parents. However, that was not the worst of it.

The person that I was spending a lot of time with and that I cared about was seeing someone else. When I found this out, it was the last straw for me. I started having panic attacks. There were times that I would get in my car and drive from my parents’ home in Gwinnett County, and drive for hours on end. On one occasion, I was on the doorstep of the city of Augusta before my nerve and common sense would return, and on another occasion, I got to the Georgia / Alabama line. I was in a serious rut. I did not know what to do and I began to wonder if my decisions for the last three years or longer were all wrong. At my lowest moment, fate intervened.

My best friend from law school, X of JD called me. Just as an aside, I am not using the real names of my friends in this journal entry out of respect to them. Now, back to the lecture at hand.  . . X had called me. At this time, things were looking up for X. He had a plan for himself and he was making head way on them. X wanted to know what I was doing for Halloween. I told him that I had nothing planned. He told me to come up to D.C. to for the holiday. At this point, I figured that I had nothing to lose and I need to get away.

The long trip from Georgia to D.C. was fun for me. I got to be on the open road and to see new places, and meet new people. Hell, it was fun pushing my little 1991 Ford Escort to a point where the speedometer would not go any further all up and down I-95. With my zeal for the open road, I ran into one small problem: I missed the exit to get to X’s place. I am to my senses and I realized this slight problem only when I got on the actual “Beltway,” during rush hour traffic. I have never been in traffic that was horrible before then or since. It took me about an extra hour to get back to my exit and to X’s place. When I got there, things were just a little amiss.

X’s place was a nice two-story house in a nice suburb of D.C. After traveling about 600 miles in about 8-9, I was rather unkempt, haggard-looking, or like a typical gen-x slacker, and I did not care if X was living with his parents. I got my dad’s sea bag out of the trunk of my car, put over my shoulder, walked toward the front door, and rang the door bell. When the door opened, I met X’s father. X’s dad said hello in a very cautious way, and asked me who I was. I told him that I was Donzell, a classmate of his son, and I had come to visit X. X’s dad just sighed reluctantly and let me into his home. When I step into this house, I realized this was how the rich white people live. This home looked like a mash up of the home from “The Cosby Show” and “Family Ties.” I do give credit to X’s parents, they made me feel at home.

After a quick shower, X took me into the heart of D.C. for dinner and for sight seeing. The one place that I got a chance to look and explore was the Lincoln Memorial. I had only seen it in my school books or on television or in pictures. They did not do the memorial justice. The memorial is immense in all aspects. The sheer height of the memorial made me feel like an insignificant insect in one of the most hallowed halls in American History. My mind was racing trying to comprehend the sheer amount of materials would be necessary to construct such a building; to comprehend the number of man hours necessary to bring some architect’s, nay some artist’s vision from the ephemeral to corporal plan; to comprehend the vision and power of will of the people that brought this Memorial to life. Yet, the singular thoughts that remain with me about the Lincoln Memorial was the fact that I was standing where history had been made by everyday people just like me, and the Memorial honored a man of the people that sacrificed a lot to maintain our country. It made me proud to be an American. How little did I know that before the end of the weekend, I would feel that I had let down another American icon, but this would have to wait until I met another iconic figure, the Rock of DC.

To Be Continued. . . . .

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