Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tapped out

This job is draining.  Exhausting.  At times, emotionally crippling.  It can be overwhelming when you're in the best of moods.  Because I'm it.  I am what is standing between my client and the precipice.  Rather, my client is on the precipice and I am standing between him and the giant machine moving inexorably towards him, intent on pushing him over the edge.  Some days, I feel so powerful that I believe I can stop that machine with nothing more than a flick of my wrist.  Some cases require a lot more blood, sweat, and tears, but leave me feeling hopeful that the machine will ultimately back down.  But some cases just leave me feeling like I'm doing nothing but futilely spinning my wheels, waiting for that damn thing to toss me aside like a rag doll on its way to obliterating my client. 

And then I feel selfish for taking it so hard when we do lose (and for whining so much about the process).  It's not actually going to affect my life, after all.  I still get to go home at the end of the day.  I can go curl up with my dog and watch as many episodes of Glee as I want.  Or I can share a bottle of wine with a friend.  Or go any damn place I please.  Or leave the criminal justice system behind entirely and go bake cupcakes.  Because much as I may "feel" the losses, I'm not the one who has to bear the consequences.  I'm not the one who has to live in a 6x8 cell for the next 25 years or more.  I'm not the one who will only get 1 hour of outside time a day for the rest of my life.  I'm not the one who truly loses.

But right now, I feel like giving in to the selfish.  I'm tired.  I have no energy.  I am completely and totally wiped out.  I resent having to expend so much energy on other people when I don't have the energy to do anything for myself.  2010 has chewed me up and spit me out.  I want to go hide under a pile of coats.  I want to crawl into a deep hole and hibernate for a few months.  I want to chuck it all and go -- do -- argh!  I want to go figure out how to finish that sentence.  Drink wine?  Read books?  Run in snake-free prairies? 

I won't, though.  Because I can't.  I signed on for this.  I signed on for a job that often requires me to put other people's needs first.  I made a promise to my guys that I would stand between them and the mighty power of the state.  I would never break that promise, no matter how much I want to spend a few months, ummm... as a go-go dancer in Vegas?  Or as a circus performer?  Or renting scooters in some exotic tourist trap? 

And, hey, my life's not going anywhere so I might as well focus on something that has a hope of succeeding.  (That's a little appellate defense humor for you, because criminal appeals are really hard to win.  So, see, there's more hope for a criminal appeal than my life.  Ha, ha.)

3 comments:

Transplanted Lawyer said...

Today, I know exactly how you feel, let's leave it at that.

mellancollyeyes said...

I second Transplanted Lawyer's statement.

S said...

At least for me, there's a massage table and a Crowded House concert in my near future. I hope you both have relaxing days ahead.

 
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