Friday, September 18, 2009

Day 25: Convict

My cold is gone. I deposit my son off at school early in the morning for his band practice. 10-year-old boys are very cute. We discuss global warming and single-cell creatures in the car. At school two trumpeteers and Maxime with his larger-than-life trombone walk happily off to practice like three peas in a pod.

I zoom home, speak to Tokyo, write to Singapore, chat with California, and then call the court to 'fess up. The fine for running a stop sign is $261! I go online for another $19.99 to attend traffic school. Did you know that you should not pump the brakes while hydroplaning, if you have an antilock brake? I flunk the final exam by one question the first time, and ace it the second time around. Which reminds me of my naturalization test, which I also aced. A good portion of Americans believe that Jesus Christ was a president. At the end of traffic school, I get a certificate mailed to me, and then an offer for $3 if I get fellow convicts to attend the same traffic school. America, the beautiful! There is a saying in Japanese that goes something like this: Make money from a fall. Americans are great at this. When Madoff was all the rage, the WSJ quoted a former convict who set up a consulting firm to advise white collar convicts on how to get assigned to nice prisons. It's called or something like that.

Today also marks the 21st anniversary of my failed first marriage. I have learned so much about myself since then. Using marriage as an escape hatch never works. It'll come to haunt you eventually. But, from failure, also comes gifts. Without the experience, I would not have my wonderful, exceptionally wise 19-year-old son to love and brag about. Happiness and despair are intertwined. You just have to make sure that happiness comes out the winner.

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