The Spaces Between Your Fingers

Click the image to flip

Flip
I interviewed Mike at his law office. Mike is totally relaxed behind his large, mahogany desk. The cabinets behind him are decorated with statues of baseball players, bobble-heads, and numerous other baseball baubles. His well-trimmed beard is grayer than his salt-and-pepper hair, and he looks out through his glasses with a warm, knowledgeable smile, intently listening and waiting to answer my questions. This memory is of his first day of law school and explains how he met his best friend Joe. Mike and Joe carpooled to Philadelphia every day for the first two years of law school after meeting on the first day. Photograph taken by me.

Mike shuffled into the huge auditorium with what had to be 700 other people. The large, open room seemed tiny with all of the eager prospective lawyers taking their seats and mumbling. As everyone settled down, a man’s voice boomed over the speakers.

“Ladies and gentlemen look to your left.”

Everyone paused, looking quizzically at the person on their left.

“Look to your right.”

The room stirred with garbled questions of the point of the speech.

“By the time you graduate law school, one of those people will not be here.”

Mike wasn’t scared. He was a hard worker by nature, and the sayings of upper classmen floated around in his head.

First year they scare you to death, second year they work you to death, and third year they bore you to death.

As everyone shuffled out of the auditorium on their way to get classroom assignments, they walked by the huge board that contained the first assignments: 300 pages of dry reading and four papers due by next week.

“Scare-tactics in full effect.”

Mike turned around with a warm smile and came face to face with a man around the age of 20, very serious looking with an angled jaw, dirty blonde hair and freckles all over. He was about two inches taller than Mike, and thin, but not quite athletic.

“Hi, I’m Mike, what’s your name.”

“Phillies fan?”

“Yeah, why?”

“Okay, good. I’m Joe, nice to meet you then.”

Mike chuckled because although he was struggling to put on a brave face with the monstrous amount of work that had just crashed down on him like a load of bricks, baseball was his all-time favorite sport, and the Phillies had a huge game later that night that Mike was really looking forward to watching.

Something about the stress of beginning law school and the goofy smile on Joe’s face allowed Mike to get over the smell of cigarettes, which would have otherwise made him turn around and get as far away as possible. Joe was very down to Earth, and happy to talk about anything except the work ahead. The conversation started with baseball and the upcoming game, who is our biggest competitor? Who is our biggest star? Then they started talking about college, high school, and past jobs, until it came up that Mike lived in Bucks County.

“Bucks County? No way, I live 20 minutes from your house! Here’s the real question though: got a car?”

“As a matter of fact, I do.”

The smirk on Mike’s face mirrored that of Joe’s, and they both broke out into quiet chuckles.

First Day of Law School

Flag as Inappropriate
August, 1983
Temple Law School

I interviewed Mike at his law office. Mike is totally relaxed behind his large, mahogany desk. The cabinets behind him are decorated with statues of baseball players, bobble-heads, and numerous other baseball baubles. His well-trimmed beard is grayer than his salt-and-pepper hair, and he looks out through his glasses with a warm, knowledgeable smile, intently listening and waiting to answer my questions. This memory is of his first day of law school and explains how he met his best friend Joe. Mike and Joe carpooled to Philadelphia every day for the first two years of law school after meeting on the first day. Photograph taken by me.

Decade: 1980s
Rating:
Recorded by Matt on June 3, 2018
×
×
4
×
Alert IconAre you sure you want to permanently delete this postcard? You cannot undo this action. Delete
×