SSDD (a long entry) in BookThree: Flight Log 2016

  • Dec. 13, 2016, 12:16 p.m.
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Woke up this morning; cracked my neck in three places, tried to stretch my right leg which is tight and sore due to cold. Then realized that I would rather be shot in the stomach than get out of bed. Forced it anyway. Poured a bowl of cereal and started eating it. And that overwhelming “Who gives a shit?!” came over me. Quite the persistent force around here. The absolute lack of motivation and strong urge to say “fuck it” are becoming routine. Get dressed and go outside… it is -17 C. The blessing here is that there is no wind. When wind gets involved… everybody has problems. The added wind that is expected today is predicted to drag us down to -24 C. This kind of weather makes a dead town even more dead (if that is even possible). As farms aren’t in operations mode in this weather and most other folks are either working out of county or unemployed… the winter seems like a quiet time in an already painfully quiet area. This may be feeding my lack of motivation. Because while I could likely try to finish up all of the cases I have… then what?

As I arrive at work, I notice Cecilia’s car is not present. I give myself a moment to wonder if she is running an errand or if things with her husband are still bad. I mentally kick myself for thinking, if only for a moment, I’d rather be laid up in Hospital then working at this place. I go inside and see Cecilia’s door is still shut and locked. Meaning she hasn’t been in today. I’m worried about her husband and family; but reckon that if something truly serious were going on, she would call to let me know she needed an extended leave. I walk into my office. My desk still a mess. I’m honestly possessed of a desire to clean, organize, and get all of my paperwork and scheduling sorted so that I can appear to be a functioning professional… but that desire is having a hard time becoming action. I hang up my coat, look at my phone to see the message light on, and sit at my desk. I assume the message is the same one I listened to yesterday. Someone involved in a case from months ago wanting to know information from the Clerk of Court because the Magistrate hasn’t signed an order yet… so of course, call the Assistant County Attorney? This leads me down a too familiar thought spiral. Wondering if I should be an attorney still. Wondering if this is the only county where I could be an attorney because you don’t need to know anything at all to do the job here. Wondering if I’ll be able to find any work at all when we move. My brain swells with worry and doubt.

In an effort to break the negative cycle; I begin to catch up on Prosebox articles, Veterinarian Canine-Bevhavior articles, and the like. This process is briefly interrupted by a visitor in the front office. A man who wishes to see The Attorney about collections. While Cecilia is far more knowledgeable in that area than I, I do my best. For a brief moment, I consider applying to be a bank teller in Des Moines. A future which may have to happen soon; as even insurance companies do not seem to be hiring down there. As Proseboxes get read and articles researched; my desk remains a mess and my actual work goes undone. Thus starts the war in my head. The responsible side urging work; the caring side firing back that they’ve quit long ago, the thinking part chiming in saying that there’s no need, the procrastinator laughing at the idea of doing things before they need to be finished. My brain, and my very sense of self, simply cannot care about this place no matter how I try to force the issue. No matter how I try to grit my teeth and pretend that I’m okay. As I consider that, my brain goes to a bizarre place indeed. It concocts an impossible scenario… I am an armless hospital patient in a psychiatric ward… the trauma of losing my arms has placed me in a catatonic state and doctors help me create a world in my mind to occupy while they try to revive me. After all, philosophically speaking, it is neither original nor insane to consider The Real World to be the illusion.

Perhaps that, more than other things, is what I need. My brain is feeling… under stimulated… with no people to speak with, no issues to debate, no philosophy to deconstruct… my brain deteriorates. And well it should… all of the brain studies on people experiencing loneliness and isolation suggest that Humans (by their nature social) can lose memory, intelligence, and even cohesion in the middle of an isolated time. And if that is true… add that to my cold-induced pain and sleepyness… and I am just… considerably less than I could/should be right now. So I shall head to a Board Meeting where I am not on the agenda. To discover if the introduction to a County Attorney is forthcoming.

I almost fell asleep several times during the Board Meeting. It was talk of hires, all right, but temporary hires for other departments. After all, there are no jobs in the county and so the Board wants to keep certain folks from leaving. As to our impending complete absence of a County Attorney, however, there was no discussion. Merely the promise that the situation would be resolved “soon.”

As I was so very tired, cold, and even less motivated then before… I decided food and caffeine were required. While it is true, Wife may be upset that I grabbed Subway without her… this was a necessary intervention for my self as going to The Convenience Store at least allows me to interact with one or two people. While I was waiting for my food, though, a Hebrew Prayer was going through my mind. Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam asher kidishanu b’mitz’votav v’tzivanu… granted that isn’t the whole prayer but I’ve always loved the sing-song way of Hebrew Prayer. Then it hit me. Something that should have been obvious but never really hit me with such.... profound force until today. This county has a few Catholic Churches, a Lutheran Church, and a Methodist Church. No Synagogue. No Mosque. No LDS Church. No house of Worship easily accessible to anyone who isn’t Christian with a very specific denominational preference. I realize it should be obvious… but it was upsetting, saddening, and made me mad. I didn’t need to go to college to be introduced to the Jewish faith, or the Muslim faith, or Mormons, or the Shinto Religion, or Buddha… all of that was accessible. Because… this country has no specific required religious doctrine and it never has. And every faith tradition has some beauty, some benefit, some reason to appreciate it. No wonder the voting populace of the area says, “America is a Christian Nation based upon Biblical Principles.” They have no experience or ability to compare it to anything. I returned to my car with my food and remembered something Wife had said last night. She was complaining that the world at large has become entirely a place not worth living in. When you consider systems of Justice, Oppression, Racism, Corruption, etcetera.... she doesn’t think there’s anything to do but feel crushed by all of it. I agree that the world at large is facing these things and it is easy to be crushed by it all… I certainly believe that her (and my) perspective on it all is fundamentally warped by our current situation. If it isn’t… if the world has officially become on a global scale as bad as this county is? God protect us!

I returned to the office and began to eat my food when the phone rings. It is the Magistrate and one of our problematic mental health cases has become an even bigger problem. He was placed in an emergency 24 hour observation in October; where the hospital required (by court order) a list of things he was required to do. To date, the patient has done none of these things. But last night, he was going door to door asking people for “food, shelter, or help.” So the police picked him up, took him to the hospital, where he became violently combative and was taken to jail. Our jail, unsurprisingly, is ill-equipped to handle him so the Magistrate wanted him moved ASAP. Then the magistrate ended the call. Strange. If you want forward progress, either file an order (as is your job) or wait for my recommendation (if you called for one). But whatever, I’m okay with literally anything that could happen to the man because our county isn’t exactly functional in most regards. End of that phone call. Return to attempt to eat lunch. Phone rings. It is Boss wondering about the Board Meeting. I give her the bad news and we commiserate on how broken this process has become. Especially considering that there are now only 18 days before the county ceases to have a County Attorney. Also, Boss tells me that the police in the next county over are becoming more and more concerned with our county’s drug problem. Of course, this makes sense as our county is so broken that we don’t do anything about our drug problem. But it is starting to get dangerous. People in the next county are going to the hospital because of a new combination that includes Heroin, Methamphetamine, and Propofol. Not exactly a wonderful mixture. So something to keep our eyes on… if we get a functioning Law Enforcement branch in this county.... if we get a functioning County Attorney’s Office. End of phone call. Back to trying to eat lunch. Phone rings. The magistrate again. Not about the conversation we had earlier. It is a new “Mental Health Patient.” I use quotation marks because it is becoming apparent that “Mental Health Patient” in this county is code for “Drug Addict.” As she is a drug addict, the Mental Health facility we sent her to is discharging her tomorrow. The “patient” is supposed to be in court tomorrow. So, Magistrate asks what I think should happen. I tell her, The Sheriff’s office should handle the transport to make certain that she makes her appearance and that she is not high when she arrives. The Magistrate says that the Sheriff’s Office won’t like that. I roll my eyes hard. The sheriff’s office is legally required to pick these people up. It is their job. And I tell the Magistrate that, should someone complain, I can be the bad guy. The Magistrate talks more about how she isn’t sure what to do. Then asks if I want to call her back about if the Sheriff should handle transportation. NO, I don’t want to call you back! I told you that The State’s position in this matter is that the Sheriff handle transportation. I was unambiguous about that point. I literally used the words “The Sheriff’s office should handle the transport.” In what way was my position still unclear?

Thus, I plunged both into my sandwich and into reading internet articles again. Because while dysfunction is certainly the standard around here… I still haven’t the patience or the stomach for constant failure. Issue #1: If someone is not participating in their required outpatient treatment; send them inpatient. Easy order to do. Issue #2: There were written, intelligent, and coherent recommendations written for County Attorney back in October. The fact that we don’t have one by Mid December is evidence of a bureaucratic failing of such epic proportions; the Board should be freaking Censured. Issue #3: If, as the Magistrate Judge, you don’t have the courage of conviction to tell the Sheriff’s office to do their job… you should quit as Magistrate and hang your head in disgrace. I must declare… honestly, sincerely… if I do belong here professionally… I am a far worse human and lawyer than I could conceive possible.

That being said… my lunch break reading:
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More Prosebox reading and then back to… trying… somewhat… to develop an organized and structured understanding of what I’m supposed to be doing.... except.... ‘nother phone call.

These are sometimes the worst. Three girls in their teens have accused their 17 year old cousin of inappropriately touching them. They say it happened “a few years ago” and they can’t remember any specific dates. I did what I could, filed the charges in Juvenile Court as the alleged perpetrator would have been under the age of 16 at the time; included all police records with my petition to make certain it wasn’t just my work that was used to adjudicate the case but the work of all individuals that had aided the case. Then, the Juvenile Judge dismissed the case. Without exact dates, there is no proof of jurisdiction that the Juvenile Court has proper venue. Without exact dates, there is no Beyond a Reasonable Doubt case that I can prove. The case would essentially read as “Sometime, a few years ago, something bad happened to these girls.” Certainly a win-able case on Law & Order but such vagueness is fatal to a real-life case. And the judge threw it out. And the victims and their families are angry and want to know why I suck and what I plan to do about it. And the Sheriff’s Deputy in the matter wants me to explain it to them in person; so I can “look in their eyes” as I tell them why I won’t help them. So I had to schedule a meeting with a family who experienced the very type of crime that made me want to be a prosecutor. Not looking forward to it; but at the same time… a little miffed that the Deputy is facilitating this. Granted, the law out here is less “Law” and more “Good Old Boys”… so the Deputy isn’t saying, “Here’s what the law is and why we didn’t have a strong case”… the Deputy is saying “Everybody knows the kid is a shit, so why isn’t the Assistant County Attorney doing more to put him away?” And I sigh. Because I often consider this another one of the downsides to being in a Solo Office. Instead of talking with a colleague or even a boss about what the law itself requires, feeling confident that The Code and Procedure are clear, and dealing with the emotional situation… I have to rely on my own reading, my own interpretation, and what the judge told me. Instead of being propped up that the law is the law is the law (even if Police and Citizens don’t understand it); I have to get a fistful of “This isn’t right, you’re not doing enough” from Police and Citizens. I get why it doesn’t work this way but… I so sincerely wish that things were backwards… Officers in small areas where there are fewer officers SHOULD know the law better than officers in big areas where there are more officers. It should be that way because if 1 Officer of 5 does things wrong… that is 20% of the force doing something wrong. If 1 Officer in 100 does things wrong… that is 1% of the force doing something wrong. But of course… the reality is about competition. 1 Officer of 5 knows they won’t improve their standing or rank by being better at his job so he doesn’t care. 1 Officer in 100 knows that the only way to get noticed is to be better at the job, so he cares a lot. Small Towns… not, as people expect, the last bastion of 1950s lifestyle… but instead a strong bastion of corruption and bullshit.

Yeah… my day has really been a day where… seriously…
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Rhapsody in Purple December 13, 2016

i don't know how anyone lives in the cold. I've lived in the tropics my whole life, so its such a foreign concept. I don't know how you get out of bed, so you should get props for doing that.

Deleted user December 14, 2016

The text from superheroes are EVERYTHING to me right now. Thank you for sharing those. I had a laugh!

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