Word of the Day

Dede stands in the doorway, arm on her hip and a stack of papers in her hand. The look in her eye wavers between utter incredulousness and utter annoyance. This is the disdain that bonds us all together; a contempt for anyone working against us. In our world, a private attorney’s prime directive is to attempt to drown us in fruitless motions and memorandum. In our view, they underestimate the competitive pettiness of the easily annoyed.

“Read this!”

I take the papers, a simple redundant Response to the Reply to the Answer to the Addendum to the Reply to the Response to the Motion for Leave to File a Memorandum in Response to the Original Request for a Postponement. Or something to that effect. The content is pretty standard … Big Government conspiracy, keeping down the small business owner, cameras set up in the lamp post, plight of the Native American tribes on the trail of tears, dolphins are space aliens … all for an employment dispute. The gist of it: apparently the lawyer needed more time and when Dede did not consent to allowing more time, the lawyer filed papers calling her a two-faced lying bitch. Or something to that effect. Pretty standard stuff after a while here.

“Did you see it?!”

I’ve read through the two-page memo twice before it jumps out finally. “You mean this one here?” I point to the offending word.

“What the fuck is multifarious?” she asks. “That’s some pretentious bullshit is what it is. Multifarious.”

Having many different parts, elements, forms. Numerous and varied. Diverse or manifold. I make a sticky and place it on my desk. Word of the Day. Try to use it in a sentence. Try to use it in a filing. Try to work it into opening argument.

Its been weeks since this happened. The sticky stares at me from my monitor, every day reminding me of a tiny failure in my life. Learn a new word, use it in a sentence. How tough is that?

Did I mention I went to a pirate-themed bar and drank grog? That I got my face painted at the Renn Fest with inappropriate language and a giant sparkly pink flaming dragon? Did I mention my current middling learning of French and guitar? My continuing yoga practice? My efforts to become one of those bike people? My trip to the grand canyon? My very first fantasy football team? My meeting of the people who fondly refer to me as “that guy from the internet?” Did I mention my friend from law school? My friend from work? My friend from the nerding group? My friend with a kid? Did I mention my abs hurt? That I stayed out late on a Thursday night for no good raisin? Did I mention my Halloween costume (yes, I did, excessively)? Did I mention my new fall jacket?

The Year of Saying Yes continues. It has been a humbling year of my life. It has destroyed some good and some bad parts of myself, and has allowed a new me to emerge. I hate phoenix analogies. I keep thinking of myself getting catoonishly SPLAT’d by a big flat rock. For the sake of being obvious, let’s say it has the word “LIFE” painted on it. Sure, some splooshy goo of the Self shoots out – some compassion gone, some self-loathing, some self-righteousness, some optimism. But the pancake emerging from underneath (or perhaps accordion man) now has room inside for new traits – some good, some bad. But best of all, undiscovered.

Where once my life seemed straight and unwavering in its intents and outcomes, this multifarious existence spreads out before me as a million tiny beams of light. All simultaneously become and already are me.


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