It's not about the house.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

… Now It Seems As Though They’re Here To Stay…

...continued from the post below...

So Superior court is upstairs. Okay. Honestly, I don’t know what the difference is and I don’t know if that’s what we need, except for that the lady at the phone number I called (which happened to be at Superior Court, but that was just coincidence because it was the number that I dialled) saw Johnny’s name in the computer. She also told me to come on down to the courthouse in the center there and look for the County Criminal Clerk’s office, so maybe she – whoever she was – is every inch as Crazy as the X.

Upstairs we go. They’re nicer there. But they can’t help us. No Johnny in their computers, either. But we called! The Nice Guy asks Johnny to write down his name, so he can make sure he’s spelling it correctly, and when Johnny does I tell him to write down his date of birth as well, since everyone keeps asking for it, including the Mystery Lady on the phone.

“Oh, no,” Nice Guy says. “We don’t keep track of things that way here. Criminal does that, but we don’t.”

And “we” are…?

“Civil.” Oh. “You need to go down the hall.”

The lady down the hall wasn’t nice at all, but she was efficient. She said she could not print anything out for us (naturally, because they don’t have printers in the Clerk of the Whatever Criminal but Certainly Not County office), but she could get us the docket numbers and we would have to take them back down to the Clerk of the Magistrate (that’s it! Clerk of the Magistrate! That’s where we were. Wait a second, now – that’s where we were!).

She took Johnny’s name and birthday (well, she didn’t take his birthday – no one can take your birthday – but she took it down) and she printed out a sheet of paper that she wouldn’t let us have or look at, but she wrote the docket numbers off it. “You’ve got quite a few, here,” she scolded.

Shut up lady and give me the numbers. He already went before a judge and jury, and I’ve just spent the morning getting yelled at by two dentists for having lived eleven years with a temporary crown. I don’t need your judgmental bullshit, too.

But what I said was, “It should be four, right?”

“Oh, it’s a lot more than four.” Really? Because I called and the lady on the phone said four.

“It’s not four. It’s six.” Okay. Six is not four, that’s true. But six is also not “a lot more than four” unless it’s your birthday on Sesame Street. “Plus one in Boston.”

(Oh crap. I forgot about that one in Boston. That one was me. That was the time Crazy X was scaring me and I called the cops. Fuck. Now I’ve got to do this all again in Boston?)

So we take the six numbers and go back downstairs where we started. The couple who came in after us and were helped out when we weren’t, is now seated on the bench – but we, figuring that we were here before them so we have dibs on the first person available, stand up at the counter and wait. For a half an hour. Being studiously ignored by everybody at the desks behind it. Finally, the Very Busy Woman from before (whom, the more I hear her speak, the more convinced I am becoming that she is also the Mystery Woman from the telephone) asks us what we’re waiting for.

“We have docket numbers?” I upspeak? “We need printouts?”

“You might as well just sit down because I’m busy. Wait, and when I have time I’ll call you. It’s gonna be a while.”

You don’t really want to scream FUCK YOU at government employees in a gummint building. Well, I mean, you do want to, but it’s not a good idea. Especially when the whole reason you’re in the gummint building in the first place is to collect the documents that prove one of you, at least, has a nefarious past (it sounds much better when I put it that way. I wish he’d been doing something sexier than fighting with Crazy X).

So we sat. And we waited. For another half an hour. And when Very Busy Lady From The Phone (I’m now convinced) became at long last unbusy, she (of course) helped the people who had come in after us. But then four more people came in behind, so then (gasp) a man stood up to help! Huzzah! Not only was it our turn, but we weren’t going to have to deal with the stupid lady who yelled at us and lied and pretended she didn’t have any idea who we were!

“Can I help you?” says the Man.

“Yes? Please?” and we showed him our docket numbers.

“You’re not getting those today. They’re in the basement. I only have one clerk here and she’s Very Busy. I’m not sending her down to the basement to get these for you. You’re going to have to come back in the morning. Next!”

Oh you’ve got to be fucking kidding me. But, because you don’t want to scream CERTAIN THINGS at gummint employees, I just turned heel and walked straight out, letting the door slam to behind me. Johnny stayed a little while to figure out exactly when he ought to return, and to nice-nice the Man a little bit so he wouldn’t be completely screwed (again) after my little (I think, admirably restrained) temper tantrum.

I, in the meantime, couldn’t find the bathroom, so I stood out under the open stairs and cried.

Johnny didn’t see me there when he came out, and so he walked right past. By the time I’d collected myself, he was wandering around the halls looking for me. We found each other, he told me where the bathrooms were, I went, and then we walked out together.

Without my water bottle, because of course it wasn't where I left it.

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