The lawyer sits across from us, trying his best to look concerned and caring, but clearly he is in a hurry. He has a waiting room full of people just like us and, he tells us, a month’s backlog.
We are there to file for bankruptcy and, while he respects the paperwork we’ve brought along, to facilitate things he’s prepared a packet that we should fill out at home and return along with his fee. He asks us about the two properties we have just lost in foreclosure: one we were supposed to sell to offset the cost of the other which, up until two days ago, we’d lived in.
Any Dog Person will tell you there is That One Dog that got them started, usually one from childhood. In my case that dog was Shep. In my family, we hear a celestial choir singing when you utter “Shep,” (click this link if you dare and have plenty of tissues).
Known commonly throughout the family as “Poor, Poor Angelina” because she was divorced and had to work at something other than childbearing and housework, the married sisters were under obligation to send her food on a regular basis since being a working girl somehow rendered her unable to turn on a stove. My grandmother, who didn’t really live anywhere but just showed up at her daughters’ houses and stayed for a few months, called my mother a few weeks later to scold her for forgetting to feed Poor, Poor Angelina, to which my mother replied she would have been happy to feed Poor, Poor Angelina if she had a ricotta container to send the food in. But, since Angelina had not returned the container, my mother assumed, she said, Angelina had plenty of food around to store in it.
My oldest son, Heir 1, turned 18 recently, one of those milestone birthdays requiring significant attention. However we have conflicting views about what this particular event means in his – and my – life. “I can buy porn,” he announces with a sideways glance to gauge my reaction, “and guns.”