The following is an excerpt from a letter in The Freedman Archives that I titled Autumn Leaves. The letter is dated October 25, 2004. Remarkably, nothing in my life has changed in the last six years.
"I'm doing my own investigation," as it were. By inclination and temperament I'm a scientist and a truth seeker. I lack sufficient abilities in the form of creative intelligence, drive, or courage to make any meaningful or universal contribution in any field. But I have found a niche -- or at least sought a niche, however socially maladaptive -- for my curious, questioning, investigative tendencies. My probing, my questions, and my curiosity will contribute as much to humanity as the olfactory "Investigations of a Dog," but I discharge my propensities as I can.
My last place of employment, the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld was a suitable niche for me. The corruption there was mild and minuscule; but the faint scent of rot has been enough to occupy this dog's nostrils for the last thirteen years. I'll never be a Sam Dash or a Ken Starr, pursuing presidents and property scams with equal fervor and fine impartiality. The career of an Inspector General is not in my future, as any sane person would know. But it's enough for me to investigate something, smell something, anything, even if that something is only a stinking bone hidden under a pile of mottled and brown leaves -- and make a report to the higher authorities. Isn't that the role of a dog? I believe it is. I believe that it is the role of a dog to proceed even in very sensitive areas."
In the letter I describe a party at my apartment building billed as "Oktoberfest" that was held on October 19, 2004. Despite the date, it was warm enough for the building management to set up tables on the front lawn. I sat at a table with tenants Stanley Schmuelewitz, Andrew Gerst, and a young fellow named Dan -- and a few others. The World Series was in full play, which dominated the conversation at my table. I remember David Dickenson, a tenant, got home while the party was in progress; he chatted with someone, but didn't stay at the party. David Dickenson was a lawyer from California. I think he worked for the EPA. He was an affable chappie, a tri-athlete. I admire the discipline of athletes. He moved out several years ago. He's since gotten married and is a father. I always marvel at how people move on in their lives, while I remain remarkably unchanged by the passage of time. I have fond memories of the days Mardi was the front-desk manager. Why did she leave?