Thursday, November 26, 2015


The time is immaterial. The only pre-requisite is an awakening from sleep. No dreams are necessary.  What is essential is an overabundance of real life stress, vastly in excess of the line of toleration.
It seems reasonable to conclude that your slumber was a self-imposed escape hatch as a desperate means to avoid implosion.

When you first open your eyes, the sky is cloudless and all seems all right with the world. You stretch out a bit--physically--and then--damnit--mentally.

It is impossible to come anywhere near specificity when a discernment of time is attempted before it happens. YOU REMEMBER.

The "woes are me" come back, with a thud. Same problems, no answers, and the merry-go-round of misery re-engages your life.

Oh, those few seconds of respite were delicious, but oh, so short. They were temporary breaks in the tensions at hand and perhaps linked to what is necessary to again face and deal with them.

More probably than not, the saga's next chapter will be another pit stop at the service station of your mind as you arise from your self-induced moments of reprieve and prepare to slay the dragon.

Saturday, November 7, 2015


It's a bitch when your client is found guilty and sentenced to long hard time. Your first visit is double emotional trouble, for he equates you with the only light in the dark tunnel which engulfs him. He is Jonah in the whale.

His face says it all: hopeless terror.

You must somehow rise to the occasion and give him something to hang onto.

You look into his eyes and speak as earnestly as you can. This is the bleak side of the business.

"In truth, I can only try to imagine your despair. But I have already filed your appeal to the Appeal Court and, failing that, shall bring the matter to the Supreme Judicial Court, the highest court of the state. If relief is still not ours, I shall seek federal relief via  Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus and am prepared to carry the issue forward to the United States Supreme Court via Petition for Writ of Certiorari. In short, sir, I swear to you that I shall leave no legal stone unturned in my efforts to free you."

I paused, momentarily, hoping my words have delivered some degree of aid and comfort. I resumed.

"In the meantime, however, I urge you to carry on with your plans to escape."

Thursday, October 1, 2015


One afternoon, the regulars gathered for their ritualistic get-together for the Mincha- Maariv daily service, when it was noticed that the rabbi looked particularly distressed and agitated. Word was passed that he had ben served with a subpoena to be a witness in an ongoing criminal federal trial and he found this to be most unsettling.

"Let's give him a double shot of brandy and send him to court in a cab."

This apparently had the desired effect for the rabbi seemed to have composed himself as he occupied a front row seat.

At last, his name was called as the next witness and he confidently took the stand.

When the judge took his measure, he especially noted his long gray beard, orthodox dress and long sideburns and said to his clerk, "I think we'll need an interpreter for this witness."

The interpreter was sworn after which the rabbi indignantly looked up at the judge and intoned:"Your Honor, I want you to know that I graduated from Harvard College with honors and it was at that time that I commenced my rabbinical studies and I believe that it's quite obvious, from the very manner in which I am addressing the court, that there exists absolutely no necessity for an interpreter." He was sneering now.

At this point, the interpreter turned to the judge and bellowed, "EHR HAT GEZOGT….."

Saturday, March 21, 2015


So me and this guy were on a mundane mission. Grocery shopping on a "food only mission." Nothing spectacular but sometimes some things can neither be planned nor scripted.

This guy is on my wave length. Same frequency so that two words telegraph to me the sentence about to come my way in full form.

Another thing. This guy is brilliant. And the hippest man in the land. So what should have been a perfunctory task turns into an adventure in escapism. I should have video-tapped the entire phenomenon. He had me in awe. I'm no slouch but this guy leaves me in the dust. So quick, so smart. What began as a food shop suddenly turned into an adventure that can't be anticipated. Only enjoyed. We were oblivious to our surroundings for our world was for members only and the books are closed.

What a wonderful time we had! Endorphins all over the place. And this guy, ever cool, merely offers up,"we had fun."

It made my day and weeks to come. Why? What made me so reactive to this guy? Why is he such a pleasure to be with? What a battery charge he provides.

The answer is simple.

This guy is someone I love with all of my heart and soul.

This guy is my clone. I adore him.

This guy is my blessing.

I done somethin' good.

This guy is my son.

Thursday, March 12, 2015


I've never tried to hide the fact that I am a helpless romantic. Not able to do anything about it, and not wanting to try, I resigned myself to deal with the highs and lows of my kind of love. I couldn't find a name for it so I copped out with "whatever it is, I got it."I recognized it in the sixth grade-that's right- the sixth grade- and made it my mantra, understanding it more as I grew up and accepting it as my life's compass. "Wouldn't it be great,"I proudly announced, "to come home every night to your soulmate and just kiss and hug?" My buddies had me down as a nutso but I reveled in its mountains and valleys and decided, early on, to jump on this wave and surrender myself to it. But for a very, very long time, I couldn't be specific about this phenomenon.I didn't have to be because I was hooked, so who needed a name?

But now, coming down my home stretch, I can be specific and define this driving force of my life. For the first time, I can describe it with words that my reader may not endorse but hopefully can understand.

It's a form of romantic love characterized by infatuation, an aching of the heart, and a general intensity of feeling that overshadows other concerns or interests. It includes sex but is manifested mainly as a mental activity.

An example of this apprehension before the application of judgement is when two decently married individuals find their lives upended when they are swept away by romantic love for each other.

We all have notions that it is wonderful to fall in love. But it can be disruptive and destructive. Conversely, for those of us who are susceptible to this emotion, it fills our lives with soaring happiness.

The element of option is just about obviated.

For me, I feel lucky and wouldn't have it any other way.

Wow, what a ride!

My heart's in my hands.

Sunday, March 1, 2015


Yesterday was my 82nd birthday which was devoted, in the main, to me reviewing me. A bit of a bumpy ride, I must say. Judging myself is a hardball endeavor. Doing so impartially mandates the talent of an Ubermensch, which I am not. So, as an ordinary fellow, I assumed the daunting task.

I have always been unafraid to embrace the concept of empathy, where appropriate, which brings into play the life-engine of motive, which explains why things are done. Intent is the truest of fact filters.

I've had my share of right and wrong but absent throughout was a purpose to harm others. In the good times, I was never stingy with the goodies and everyone in my flock enjoyed the benefits. Even when I was drowning in the sea of mistakes, I harbored no ill will despite my good time gun being empty of good time bullets. My love for those I loved never waned.

The toughest part was to deal with the emotional wrong turns taken to which there are no available remedial turn-backs. Suck it up and swallow hard. Somehow, I got through the heart-pain and survived. Mind over matter. I was my own shrink. The brain doesn't forget, not even to remember.

The most positive contribution in my life and to the lives of others was my ten years as a Judge. I leaned on what I had learned and been through, always being practical and understanding, the two ingredients of fairness. I put my heart and soul into the task at hand and will unhesitatingly rely on the opinions of the attorneys and individuals who appeared before me, for they have personal knowledge of this issue. I am not afraid of their verdict.

The most difficult part of my self-analyzing was to evaluate very personal relationships.

That ride was not a smooth one. In fact, it was most unsettling.

Too many scabs scraped off

The saving grace was, once again, the absence of malice. Stuff happens.

If I could go back, I would, of course, try to avoid my missteps but who wouldn't? The past has passed.

Even now, the light of love from those whom I love, is my beacon.

Could have been better--of course.

Could be worse--much.

And oh, how lucky I am to be able to say that.

Saturday, February 21, 2015


A piece of the puzzle is missing. A space of loneliness which is impossible to be permanently swept under the rug.

I remember, quite vividly, a conversation I had with a friend when I was in the sixth grade. Can you even begin to imagine how wonderful it would be, I said, to fall in love with a woman and spend the rest of your life with her--coming home to her every night, distance be damned--doing everything holding hands?

Why is this so indelibly imprinted on my memory? Why was I so preoccupied with this notion the existence of which was surely premature at a single digit age?

With the benefit of many years of hindsight and pondering on the lessons of experience--the source of personal development--it has become abundantly clear that I am a romanticist who is completely incomplete without the active ingredient of love. The bells and whistle kind without which I don't know what time it is.

So--what's to be done? Do I study the actuaries and categorize that aspect of life as "closed", having run out of time? Better I put my mouth over the exhaust pipe of my car and pay a stranger to start the ignition. One of the certainties of my scene is romance, the absence of which robs me of incentive.

We learn as we live so there's really no choice to be made. I'm functioning so I'm still a candidate. I'm not talking about the dot-com world but rather the upbeat belief that tomorrow is loaded with possibilities that require no invitation or pre-planing. Things can happen just because. I'm not shutting the door to happenstance.

I'm still in the batter's box sporting the lineup name of Hobbs. Roy Hobbs.

Stay tuned.

There's still gas in the tank.

Who's to say there's not someone out there who feels the same way?

Not me.

Thursday, February 12, 2015


Brian Williams must have a mental disorder. He did not base his conduct on malice. Without malice it is difficult to entertain motive. His public apologies were sincere, in that he fessed up and begged forgiveness. The NBC sharks were all too anxious to jump into the frenzied feeding pool. People usually hide their lies; Williams jumped on a world stage. As far as his audience is concerned, no one is wounded or crying in the streets. They would constitute record breaking numbers in viewing his return.

Who are his victims? He has lost credibility in the personal saga realm but that is a tiny slice of the public news pie. He is the victim of pouncers who lie in wait in the jungle of jealously.

He suffers from a flaw. He has acknowledged his mistakes. Let us make room for the passage of time's effect should he be rehired at the end of his suspendsion. There are no demonstrators in the streets. His critics seem bent on vengeance. He has broken no law as even former presidents have. He is living through his personal hell. His agony appears legitimate.

Compassion and forgiveness should not be abandoned in this case. There are worse unpunished scoundrels out there.

Ease up. Let Brian Williams find his way back.

Don't be embarrassed to be empathetic.