Demolition Deposition

I fucking hate winter.

I’m nearly 38 years old and each time winter rolls around, it catches me off-guard like a punch to the gut.

Me thinking – “How did I forget how much I hated winter?”

During the warmer months, I feel invincible.  I never get cold, I never get hungry or tired.  Not only do I not get cold, hungry or tired, but it’s as though those things are beneath me and I will NEVER get cold, hungry or tired ever again.  My disposition is too strong and healthy.  I beat all the odds.

But then winter lumbers in like a 400 pound cranky old monstrosity and my body crumples like a heap of laundry under my blankets.  I wait for the sweet release of death.

This winter is not a mild one.  There’s snow and there’s single digits.  It’s like no other winter that came before it.  It reminds me of the time I went to Alaska in February and lost my gloves.

I swear a lot in my head.  It’s always “eff this” and “eff that”, “mother fucking shit fuck”…etc.  But it’s always in my head.  I’m too respectful to swear out in public.  But come wintertime, guess what?  The fuck in me comes out where I normally wouldn’t give one.

*********************

It’s been years since my business suffered by the hands of one twisted perverted therapist.  It’s taken me that long to get over it.  But it’s back.  The worry is back.

My lawyer is hard at work undergoing the deposition hearings with the three victims of the lawsuit and holy shit.  Holy mother of pigs it’s brutal.

I know that depositions are meant to clarify facts, to get them straight with an unbiased account of what happened.  But I didn’t know how grueling they are.

My lawyer, god bless him, is one of those lawyers you can’t help but to hate.  A brutal man with no compassion or mercy.  An unfeeling vermin who cares nothing for others.

And he’s on my side!!  Yay for me!  I’m being serious.

He’s interrogated one of the 3 victims so far.

In my opinion (and I do value my opinions as being both logical and reasonable), the deposition itself is a more traumatic experience than the actual incident I’m being sued for.  I shit-you-not.  I’m scared of getting doubly-sued for being the harbinger of a traumatic deposition!

In case you forgot, I’m being sued for one of my former employee’s taking pictures of his clients while he massaged them.  He never touched them inappropriately or shared the photos online.  He just taken pictures.  I’m not downplaying it, I know it’s a vile thing he did, but it could’ve been worse.  Much worse.

My lawyer sent me the transcript of the first deposition.  It was done by a court reporter on one of those little keyboard machines.  Three hours worth of personal information – very personal information.  I know more about this woman than I do about anybody.

She’s a doctor here in town (I won’t tell you a doctor of what), her last name is infamously known from it being plastered on big ass signboards littered up and down the main road during voting season.  Her family is in politics.  And now I have dirt on her.

Her ex-husband emotionally abused her, she’s on anti-anxiety meds, she got a DUI, had a coke and drinking problem, spent 3 months at a rehab center down in Florida…..etc.

My lawyer – “Did you use cocaine during the day?”

Her – “Sometimes.”

My lawyer – “Did you inform your patients when you were under the influence of cocaine?”

Her – “No I did not.”

My lawyer – “Did you inform the state licensing board of your addiction to cocaine?”

Her – “No I did not.”

It was a full three hours of invasive questions such as this.  The type you don’t want getting out in public.

Her – “Do I have to answer these questions?”

Lawyer – “Yes you do.”

I now know what a “leading” question means.   It leads to more questions that you’re forced to answer truthfully due to weaving a trap for yourself by your previous answers.  Only one answer can now fit and it’s the picture he’s painting, not yours.  All done in the guise of finding the “facts”.  Black and stupid fucking white.  You tie your own noose sort of speak.  Cognitive dissonance won’t help you here.

Reading that deposition was like watching a master sculptor at his best.  Like listening to Beethoven’s symphony No. 9 for the first time.  Live in concert.  In Vienna.

My lawyer covered everything!  All possible angles she could get me for, he kept digging to find the real answers as to why she installed a surveillance camera at her house, why she’s taking anxiety meds, why she see’s a therapist….etc.  Her life was fucked up before the incident is what he was getting at and he accomplished it.  Bravo.  You da man.

The victim is a young, smart professional and figured out what my lawyer was doing half-way through the process.  The heated questions and being under oath caused her to fluster but once she figured it out, she started answering more carefully.

But my lawyer is smarter than she is.

Lawyer – “So we’re changing answers now?  Any more answers you want to change?”

My lawyer is a sociopathic genius, very quick thinking, leaves no holes or gaps in his understanding of things.  Nobody stands a chance against him.  I think I’m in love with him.  I’m so impressed and I’m NEVER impressed with anyone.

I hit the jackpot with this guy.  He has a booming voice and a commanding presence.  I see no weakness in his confidence.

As for her lawyer, the guy just sat there like a doofus.

Granted, I wasn’t there (fuck that shit), but I could picture his face all mild mannered with his republican hairdo flopped to one side.  He kept saying “I object”,  like they do in the movies.  But my lawyer completely ignored him which I found funny.  I actually laughed out loud when I read it.

Yes I’m sadistic and yes these are horrible circumstances and I feel bad for what happened, but she’s the one coming after me, you know?  For something that I could not prevent.  It’s like if one of my employees got caught stealing from the till and I’m the one held responsible for their actions.  I’m the one who gets blamed.  Like I wanted them to steal from me, you know?  It’s ludicrous!

The only words her lawyer uttered throughout the whole 3 hour ordeal was, I object.  He said it 3 or 4 times.   And each time he said it, my lawyer went Erin Brockovich on his ass.

And that’s not the funny part!  The funny part is, when I was fumbling around looking for representation, her lawyer was the first guy I turned to.  He was supposed to be MY lawyer.  But even before I gave him my name, he told me he’s already representing one of the plaintiffs.

It’s a small town.  Everybody who’s anyone knows what happened.  It was plastered all over the news and in the paper.  The guy knew who I was before I barely said two words.

Me – “So, what do I do?  Do you recommend anyone?”

Which is a really stupid question, I know, but I was annoyed and wanted to annoy him.

Her lawyer – “I suggest you speak with your insurance company and they’ll provide you with a lawyer.”

Me – “Okay, I’ll try that.”

He was actually really nice.  He sounded sympathetic over the phone.  A sweet guy.

I bet he’s wishing now that he’d recommended someone to me other than my insurance company.

When I first met my lawyer during the free consultation, I felt like I was the one being interrogated.  I felt him snaking his way into my psyche and the first thing that popped into my head was, “I need to hire this guy.”

You do NOT want a nice lawyer.  Nice lawyers suck.

If you want to dominate someone emotionally and intellectually, you have to have more confidence than the other guy.  That’s all it is.  And this guy’s got a bunch of it.

And you have to look at the person like they’re either stupid or crazy.  Not just look, but believe they are stupid/crazy.  You have to feel it and actually see it and just by looking to visually see their stupidity (weakness), you’ll find it every time.  No matter how smart the guy is, you’ll find it.  The more confidence and belief you have in yourself, the more you’re able to break a person.  But you can find other things too.  Anything you want, really.  If you look hard enough.

Portrait artists do this but they call it “finding their humanity”.  It’s when they finally “see” a person for who they really are.  Even for a glimpse.

It’s a form of weakness showing through.  A way for others to sneak in while a little of themselves sneak out.  A two-way street, an opening.  It’s usually the heavily guarded people who break while the open people bend in the breeze.

Weakness happens to be strength.  That’s something most people don’t know.  If you’re open all the time, you sorta get immune to shit.  Like getting inoculated before the virus strikes.  The virus is already in you so you have no choice but to toughen up and either brush it off or ride it out.

I know this from experience.  The most open people I’ve met in the world are also the strongest people I’ve ever met.  That can’t be a coincidence.

I shouldn’t say strong, but resilient.  They’re too sensitive for me to use the word “strong”.

When I say strong, what I really mean is intelligent.  But not book intelligence or IQ.  It’s more like…….hmmm…..it’s like they know themselves and are fully present.  Being resilient only comes with being intelligent.  So, open people are more often the smartest people that I know.

And I believe that form of intelligence is brought on by introspection.  A hard honest look at themselves.  But it’s impossible to know who they are if they don’t know others first.  They’re forced into seeing people and understanding them in order to understand themselves.

I suppose they are more empathic than the rest.  Empathy doesn’t always equate to intelligence though.  Think about dogs.  They can be empathetic if you look hard enough.  Who’s to say what’s real?

I wish I was more open.  Blog Melanie is a lot different from real life Melanie.  I can break.  I’ve been broken before.  But hot damn I’m a resilient mother fucker.

When I was walking across Spain, I would listen to podcasts.  I listened to this one episode in particular that talked about how our expectations effect others.

They experimented on mice and people.  Hold on a sec, let me find the podcast…..it’s a really good one.

Okay I found it.  The Podcast is an NPR show called Invisbilia and the episode I’m referring to is “How to become Batman”.

The scientists experimented on two groups of mice.  They labeled one group “smart mice” and the other group “dumb mice”.

The scientists explained to the participants that each mouse undergone an IQ test that proved them to be either smart or dumb.  The participants understood this and didn’t question it.  They understood that one group of mice was dumb and the other, smart.

Both groups of mice had exactly the same IQ.  They’re freaking mice!

The participants watched the smart mice navigate a maze.  The scientists explained to the participants that these mice are expert navigators that always finish the maze quickly.

And sure enough, each mouse found the cheese very quick.  Every single one of them.

Then they preformed the same experiment with the dumb mice.  Once again, the scientists told the participants to expect these mice not to preform as well.

And surprisingly enough, that’s just what happened.  With every single mouse in the dumb group of mice.  They all sucked at the maze.

This shocked everyone, obviously.  How can this be?  Well, yada yada, the scientists broke it down into pheromones.  Our thoughts, aka expectations in this case, are chemically processed in the brain which transmutes hormones in our bloodstream which in turn discharges a chemical blueprint out through the pores of our skin.

We smell our expectations before we can make our own.

Think about it…..The quickest way to the brain is through the nose and the nose is the back door of your subconscious.  You don’t even know it’s happening.  You can take on someone else’s beliefs and not have any idea or recollection of it happening.

Middle-aged mom – “How the HELL did I become my Mother?!!”

But it doesn’t work on everybody.  Like for instance, if you walk into a room full of cult fanatics that are about to drink the kool aid, you’ll most likely “smell something fishy”.

Maybe, now just hear me out, maybe some of us can smell crazy?

When we smell a potent belief seeping heavily out a persons wet spots, instead of taking on that person’s belief, we instead interpret them as crazy?  So in a way, there are some people in the world who are immune to flocking with the sheep because they subconsciously interpret the “belief” pheromone as “crazy”.

Am I crazy?  I sound it.  Crazy is what crazy do.

Now, I have to be completely honest with you here.  I haven’t listened to this particular Podcast since the Camino and I may have gotten it confused with another episode called Fearless which is also an Invisbilia episode.  I listened to Fearless before the camino and I think I combined the two episodes together.  Maybe mice don’t smell pheromones, but snakes smell fear?  Ugh, I forgot dammit.

I should’ve blogged about it after I listened to it.  I remember most things I write about.

Listen to both episodes, they’re really good.  Everyone with an iPhone has the Podcast app preinstalled already so it’s easy to listen to them.

I love Podcasts…..I want to walk across Spain again just for the Podcasts.  I’m being serious.  I want to walk across Spain for a 3rd time this April.  It’s not going to happen though.  I’m sort of in deep shit with this lawsuit.  I’m going to have to pay my lawyer another $5,000 soon.

Anyway, what I was trying to say for this whole entire post is that my lawyer is like one of those participants watching all the dumb mice fumble through a maze.

How does he do that?  How does he fluster people enough to have them spill everything?  It’s like that magic trick, the one that mentalists do.  The best lawyers are mentalists.

I better stop writing or I’ll get insomnia.

 

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