What’s the Price of Heroes?

The more I watch “The Pacific” the more I realize that being a public defender is like being in a war. Each case is a new mission. Each hearing is a new battlefield. The courthouse is littered with the carnage of my open warfare with the state. While clients are unique like snowflakes, eventually, they become as common and expendable like ammunition; however, the nature of my battles with the state rarely changes. At times, the battle becomes a dance routine in a Kabuki play; it is scripted to the last detail. The longer I remain in the theater, the more callous I become. Despite the adrenaline rush that comes with each “new” battle, and the ecstasy that comes with fighting a superior opponent with nothing but sheer, unadulterated guile, there are times that I wish to leave it behind. I long for the tranquility of silence, and the serenity of inaction. At these moments that I long for torpor, I fear that I have become a coward. Maybe it is that because I have become shell-shocked. Maybe it is I have become lazy. I do not know. Still, at the core of my being, I long for the thrill of battle, the sting of combat, and the rigors of competition. Maybe I long to die in battle like some of my relatives died at the pulpit in the service of the Lord. Nevertheless, I carry on because it is the only way of life that I know and sadly enough, that I love or care about, despite knowing damn well it will eventually eat me up and spit me out.


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