Idiolexicon: 3/15/2007


Nathan Gibson

a response to pat duggan’s response* to chris dodd’s bill which was a response to president bush’s military commisions act which was a response to…


I

last week
a pretty girl asked me for a favor.
she said she was a lawyer.
was doin’ pro bono work.

she had a cause
as they all do.
she wanted to free illegally detained u.s. citizens.
they were being held in torture camps.
they didn’t have any lawyers.
they weren’t told why they were there.
they were suspects of terrorism
and thus treated like shit.

she made it sound real bad.
then she said she wanted a picture of me.

of me?

yes.
holding a sign.
a sign that read,
“please do not suspend the great writ of habeas corpus.”

she was real pretty.
i thought about it.
for about two minutes
i really thought about it.
i had hoped that it wouldn’t make me a terror suspect
and i posed for the picture.

i even wore a cowboy hat so i looked super american.

she said it was perfect
and thanked me very kindly.
and went along on her way

when i got home i googled habeas corpus
turns out
it's latin for “you have the body”

indeed, i would like to think that was true.
alas,
i never saw her again.


II

i went to a jonathan richman show in philly.
it was dark.
it was a bar.
and there were hipsters all around.

i was excited to hear his song about dancing in a lesbian bar
when i was suddenly bombarded with a song about a man named mumia
as i sipped my p.b.r. and awaited the next hit song
he started passing out flyers.
talking about the death penalty.
amnesty international.
a bunch of people trying to solve a great problem.

i went to the bathroom.

when i got back
he was still talking about this guy mumia
whom jonathan believes was wrongfully accused of killing some guy.

my ears wandered
and so did my eyes.
there was a girl to my left.

she was wearing a red hoop earing.
and cat eye glasses.
the kind that make her look real smart and hot.
like lawyer/librarian-bookish smart.
i liked it.
i asked her where the restrooms were.
i already knew,
but i needed an icebreaker.
she shushed me.
finger to the mouth and all.

“he's talking about mumia, be quiet.”

i immediately took an interest in mumia.
who was this guy?
sad story as it turns out.

i went home and googled his name.
he’s got life in prison.
had the death penalty
but some judge removed it.
damn.
i wonder,
which is worse,
living out life in prison as the subject of a national cause
or forgetting to ask that girl for her phone number?


III

today i pretended to be an asshole lawyer for the US government.
i was thinking,
if some soldier beat some guy in a hostage camp
who turned out to innocent
and who barely survived the beating
and who when he was released from the camp
tried to press charges against the soldier who beat him
but was then told that all of the military was exempt from any charges
because they were only following their orders
through the chain of command
which led to the president
and that the president couldn't have charges pressed against him
because he’s the US fucking A president...

how fast would i really be able to go in my testarossa?
sure, they top out at 165,
not too shabby for a road model,
but in Massachusetts,
are there really any roads safe enough to go that fast
without hurting anybody or without breaking the law?


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