Talking to Lawyers, Part II

It’s only Wednesday, and it’s been an eventful week. Not exactly full of the kinds of events I’d prefer, but eventful nonetheless.

On Monday, I had an appointment with an attorney to look over my response to my wife’s petition. It was a bright, sunny day, the kind that makes one glad to live in this part of the country. I had to drive downtown to get to this attorney’s office. The reception area was on the 41st floor — I didn’t even know that there were many buildings downtown that had so many floors. The view from the office lobby was spectacular: panoramic views of mountains and water. The attorney was running a bit late, but we eventually had a brief consult. Her office, as it turned out, was on the 42nd floor. This was a suite in which various businesses and contractors rent office space. It was a small, modest office, with no window views whatsoever. The attorney was very nice, and offered a bit of practical advice. The upshot of our conversation was that it would not be difficult to drag this litigation out just by complying with deadlines. Basically, once the response is filed, there would be no further deadlines until July, and the documents that would need to be filled out would have to originate from my wife.

I did end up filing my response with the court yesterday. I then had to have the document served, and this proved difficult. My wife is not only incommuncado, but is also uncooperative and in hiding. Yes, that’s right: in hiding. That’s how ashamed she is of her choices at this point. She is avoiding any and all contact with me — a person who would never mean her any harm whatsoever. She had listed her colleague’s address — the colleague with whom she had been staying on her visits to town — as the place she wanted the papers served. So, I obliged. I asked a friend to serve these, and this friend was willing; I chose the friend because she has a very open and genuine way with people, and most certainly would be able to put the colleague at ease. This friend also happens to be a practicing Buddhist, and emotionally is a very balanced person.

I originally proposed having the documents dropped off around 8:30 in the evening, but the colleague said she would not be home; I offered to have them dropped off earlier, and was informed that she would not be home until 10 pm. The colleague had a couple of exchanges by phone and email with my wife regarding protocols and practicalities. She suggested my wife contact me, but of course, she refused. There seemed to be some acrimony. Now, mind you, I have made Herculean efforts to build goodwill with my wife, and have done virtually nothing to cause anger or acrimony in her heart. Whatever she is feeling is more or less nothing more than the product of her own guilt.

Eventually, the time was set for 10 pm, and the friend was still willing to help out, so we headed over once that hour arrived. I brought the dog with me. My emotions were very even: no nerves, no pain, no guilt, just mindfulness of the reality of the task at hand. The papers were dropped off, along with a card for my wife (basically telling her that I did not want this, and offering a brief but open and honest message). The friend returned to the car with a bag that had some containers in which I had dropped off food for my wife and the colleague a week or so ago. These had been washed for return to me. I had no idea how these containers would affect our dog, though.

After returning home, the dog began to pace around the house and cry. This lasted for at least a half an hour, and I could not initially figure out why — until I realized that the dog could smell my wife on those containers. I let her sniff one of them, and she then went off around the house looking for my wife. It was really quite sad.

Today I was to drop off the return of service form at the clerk’s office; little did I know that they close for lunch. So, that task will have to wait until tomorrow. My wife should be picking up the response any day now. I suspect sparks will fly up there at Camp C-S. My wife basically provided me with a petition that pretty much obliged me to disagree, thereby causing this to drag out as a process by itself. Her secretiveness and refusal to communicate with me led her to either fail to specify information, or to assert certain information to be true that I cannot verify. What’s potentially worse for her, vis à vis the situation at Camp C-S is that she has laid herself open for the blame game to commence: the adulterer can now blame her for this process appearing to backfire.

My guess is that it could be a bumpy ride up ahead, but those bumps could be severe enough up there at Camp C-S that my wife could either bail out of that vehicle that is traveling that path, or be ejected outright.