Saturday, December 18, 2004

Cup's Corner -- part 3

Court went well the next day and the prosecution could do nothing to stave up their erroding case. The jury found no need for a lengthy deliberation but came back quickly with a verdict of not guilty. The young fellow, so speedily rescued from yesterday’s frightening precipice of disaster, was so apreciative of the freedom he feared he had lost, that he couldn’t stop thanking John and Sidney. Effusive gratitude turned to dinner and drinks and Sidney succumbed without a whimper to what would become two weeks of inebriation without a break.

The path of stumbling is irregular in the extreme, and at one of its jerky twists, Sidney had the good fortune to fall away from it. Love is such a powerful thing that, even in one’s weakest moments, it struggles in the breast, surging about and looking for some way to work its transforming magic. Love between people is the force of vision that can see beneath the debris of life and find the good that lurks there. It not only finds it but cherishes it with such enabling force that it can grow and even shine brightly at times. The appearance made by it is that of transformation --- from debris pile to something as miraculous as the burning bush. The agent of this transformation in Sidney was the tear in Lucie’s eye on their chance meeting on the street, coupled with her invitation for him to visit the house and spend some time with her and her circle of Family and friends.

He went home immediately feeling the need to clean himself. As he hovered above the hot bowl of water and looked in the mirror at himself, he was reminded of that moment somewhere off in the vague past where he he had lingered in the cold of night across the street from her house and seen clearly some of the self inflicted wounds of weakness and dissolution that were now so visable in the wavering image of the pale visage in the mirror in front of him. If he could have, he would’ve scrubed away that lazy self-indulgence lurking beneath the grime but, as he was beginning to realize, that would require another soap and much fresh new water. He striped to the waist, girded himself with a towel and washed his hair next. As if freed of the considerable weight of much invisable grime, he freely now looked after himself in ways that showed a level of self respect he had earlier derided as superficial and pretentious. A much more careful pattern of self attention was beginning to assimilate him and the damaging pattern of self indulgence seemed to be starting to melt away. The raucous wildness of his appearance of just an hour ago looked as if it had been water soluble. Although it still waited, lurking just beneath that more careful surface, it was momentarily in abeyance which was very satisfying indeed.

Considerably changed in appearance, he emerged from his rooms and went down to the street. He determined to go to the chambers now to look in on some new clients John would be interviewing and, in the evening, pay a visit to the Manette house. Surprisingly, he felt rather good about this new appearance of his and resolved to make it a more disciplined practice in his toilet routine. He hadn’t yet realized how out of place he was going to seem in his old haunts. He also hadn’t realized how less bored he had become and how much less desperate he was to cross the disapointing collapse of moments that would pass with this day and night.

The day, for all its mundane aspects, passed relatively swiftly into the evening and, when Sidney went for supper, he treated himself to somewhat more elegant environs than usual. It was a bit of great luck that he should occasion to meet an old school chum of his (along with his family and realitives from the country) whom he hadn’t seen for many years. He was promptly invited to join them at their table where a pleasant repast and delightful reunion was accompanied by making several new acquaintances. This included a particularly enjoyable young lady, slightly younger than Lucie, possessed of an admirable character, clear mind and an entertaining sense of humor. Time simply flew so that it was already time to go to spend the rest of the evening at the Manette’s and Sidney made his appologies for having another engagement. Before leaving, araingements were made to get together with them again before the country relatives had to return to their home. Surprisingly, Sidney was still almost perfectly sober!

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