Got two incompatible phone calls from my girlfriend the last couple days and the juxtaposition was a nice reminder why I’m in love with her (and probably always will be). Yesterday’s call was to tell me about her first HUGE settlement. When I heard her cut, I was predictably humbled by the amount. She’d spent a lot of time working on the case, and both her and the client deserved the money (I’m not a big tort fan, but in some instances it doesn’t bother me). She’s an excellent lawyer, even if she still expresses some self-doubt. Don’t we all? Then tonight, I spent 20 minutes listening to her explain about a bug she spotted on her blinds. Her tone suggested she might want me to hop on a couple different trains and take an hour and a half journey just to kill the bug, but she was too polite and practical to ask directly. Instead, I provided her with some tools and techniques she could use to kill a bug without it “attacking” her. I wasn’t there to do my usual exterminator routine, and she is pathologically afraid of bugs: she’s unable to be in their presence without it drastically impinging on her ability to do things—like go to sleep. Eventually, after another call, she was able to squash it, making her bedroom once again safe to sleep in. Both of us relieved, but for different reasons, she told me goodnight, and I thought about how lucky I am. Despite being broke, jobless and with very little in the way of a future, I’ve got a good family and friends, and her. I’ve got my health—sort of, since I partially tore my MCL last month. I’m still curious about the world, and reading and watching basketball still satiates that curiousity because I can’t afford to travel anymore. I’m optimistic that everything will be all right even when all signs read differently. Mostly, I just really liked hearing her voice and the very real panic and helplessness from the bug. Maybe that’s a tad sadistic, but I like helping her with little problems even as I struggle to answer my own big ones.
by Spencer Lund
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