A Very Civil Court

This spring was very rainy in June. Every day was without sun. I was living in a basement and taking the subway to work. I felt like a subterranean, so when the sun finally burst through the clouds I was ready to celebrate. The event was an opening at Miguel Abreau’s gallery on Orchard Street. The crowd in attendance was happy with the new weather. Summer was only a week away. We drank Groelsch beer on the sidewalk.

It was the wrong thing to do.

An unmarked police car swerved off the street onto the sidewalk. 3 cops jumped out and told anyone with a beer in their hand to stand aside from the rest. We were issued summons to show our faces at Criminal Court. The summoning officer said it would be a $20 fine.

I missed the date. My excuse? Nothing, so I showed up this last Friday to avoid getting arrested for a more simple offense. The process was quick. No one was a real criminal. Most were for trespassing or open bottle. A few were there thanks to public urination. I’ve been guilty of that crime thousands of times, but I regarded these offenders as lower than ‘open container’ violators.

The judge meted out sentences with rapidity. $50 for public urination. $20 for open container. The vast majority of the latter had been drinking Bud or Coors. I was the only miscreant cited for ‘Groelsch’. The elderly judge did his duty. We never made eye contact. It was better that way.

My fine for this good beer was $20.

At the pleasure of the court I pleaded guilty.

I guess this sentence goes on my permanent record.

One more blight.

At least it wasn’t for drunk and disorderly.

That is a true sin.

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