People often ask me why I did not go on to law school. The cocktail party answer usually unfolds as follows:
“Actually I did go to law school. I took out a $100,000.00 student loan, studied hard, passed the bar, and got a job with a big prestigious law firm. I made lots of money and bought the obligatory Lexus, beach house, and wardrobe of bespoke suits. I soon realized that my job owned me, that the creative wanderlust was gone from my life and that my days were either spent begging for criminals or arguing with them. I was taking work home, not sleeping, and not having time for a run, a book, a movie with friends. The next dollar was just ahead of me … and then I found a balm. The bottle. I could drink Scotch until Madison Avenue started selling literal shit in a designer box. I realized in the depths of my despair that I could not give up practicing law, that my debts owned me and I had to pay off that student loan and the overextended life I had created for myself. So I drank more, missed court dates, and lost my job. I was able to scrape up enough to do a 70-day rehab stint, but it didn’t work. I wound up broke, homeless, living under a bridge. And then it happened; I found my true self and started writing. The joy was back in my life, without the bespoke suits or beach house. I was not making a killing, but I could pay the bills. I could look at myself in the mirror and be proud of earning an honest living. I got clean, found a small apartment in the Village and I wrote, walked my dog, read books, saw movies, and slept at night. Really slept at night.”
And that is why I am not a lawyer. I knew it would end before it began so I skipped all that stuff in the middle.