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Excerpt from Chapter 18: A Kid’s Improbable Journey, Jesuit Guidance… And Vignettes of Trial Lawyers

We left the steaming hulk of what used to be a car, and walked away from a mystical silhouette of the headlights, fog and radiator vapor. We headed back toward the empty roadway. As we walked in silence, I kept checking my teeth. “How ironic,” I thought. My father, with great financial sacrifice, had an orthodontist, Dr. Martinek, put braces on my teeth which I dutifully wore for five years. But, now what did my teeth look like? I was fixated on my teeth. Did I look like a jack-o-lantern? But, hallelujah!… Good news! I found my teeth in their customary sockets. Hooray!… Brian didn’t knock my teeth out.

Finally, when we got to the roadway, I confronted Brian: “What just happened, my man?” to which Brian replied without missing a beat: “As Jack Frost said, we took the ‘road less traveled’.” And so we did, in more ways than one. Brian and I walked and walked, and, finally, a car stopped and gave us a ride to Brian’s house where I crashed on Brian’s couch, and Brian snuggled up to his wife. I wonder what her thoughts were. As for me, I didn’t have any profound thoughts or profound emotions one way or the other. It was just another “day in the life of… ” – the usual dysfunction that surrounded me since I could first remember. Although others seem to see these types of incidents and my life as dramatic or perhaps even traumatic, all I knew was that “life was tough,” and one hard day just kept evolving and revolving into the next difficult day. As I drifted off to sleep on Brian’s couch, my last thought was: “Okay, so today Brian Lavan tried to knock my teeth out by crashing us headlong into the scary darkness of the forest primeval, but I’m still alive. So what’s next on the agenda? Tomorrow will tell.”