Jerry steps out of the courthouse into the warm summer air, the sweat immediately beading up under his suit. By the time he’s made it to Confederate Park, he’s soaked.
Sitting on a bench, waiting, is Jerry’s irregular noon appointment: a homeless man named Kyle.
“You high?” Jerry asks, suspiciously.
Kyle’s eyes twinkle back. “Just a bit.”
“Dammit, we had a deal.” Jerry says, holding out a sandwich and can of Pepsi.
“I know,” he said, snatching the proffered lunch. “And I broke it. What are you gonna do about that, Mister Lawyer Man?”
“Sometimes I don’t even know why I do this.”
Kyle snorts while shoveling the sandwich into his mouth.
“You do it ‘cause you’re every bad lawyer stereotype rolled into one pathetic mess of amorality. You talk to me because you’re so completely numb to anything but the “Argument” you have no idea if what you’re arguing right in the first place. You talk to me because we were kids together, and everyone else hates you.”
He cracks the soda open, chugging most of it in one go.
“Face it, Jerr, I’m like the last bit of your humanity. And look at the sorry state I’m in.”
Confederate Park sits on the low bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River, just down from the courthouse and city hall, next to the University of Memphis law school, and across the street from one of the most important business buildings in Memphis. But, its main occupants are the homeless that sleep on its benches. I’m always struck by the contrast of wealth and power to a complete lack of it whenever I’m downtown.