I was walking the downtown streets one morning minding my own business which was much of nothing since I had a few dollars in my pocket, good enough to provide for a meal for the day. My apparel was getting a little dusty, maybe time for a change, but that could wait another day to go look for some free clothes. I wasn't concerned with survival today just open to the possibility to see what happens.
Rounding a corner of downtown next to the Starbucks Café I trudged along close to the building, a long habit of an unassuming walk next to outer walls unnoticed from the horde of nicely dressed business folks usually crowding the sidewalks. As I cut the corner still next to the building, a beefy cop was exiting the café with a large java in hand, a thick cigar stub in mouth; looking like a desk warrior of long standing: able to shuffle papers and talk bravado to a fellow desk sitter simultaneously. The pot-bellied paper man didn't notice me until I was about to bump into him. This in effect startled him that he over responded with his free hand straight arming me as I neared too close with a heavy palm shot to my chin.
"What the hell?!" He sputtered, choking on hot coffee.
I slumped from the blow, dropping in front of the cop. His sudden movements of switching to a defense mode had loosened his grip on his coffee, spilling half the contents. He also lost his cigar with his loud exclamation. The cigar by landing on my hand sizzled my flesh while at the same time his hot coffee had drenched my pants leg, soaking through the worn material likewise searing my skin. The bright morning suddenly turned into the black of momentarily unconsciousness.
When I came to, blinking my eyes, I was looking upward at a circle of faces staring downward at me. As my eyes focused, I saw that all these heads were clean cuts attired in suits, their eyes quick in movement as they seemed to be studying my condition, their brows tight in thought. Then a couple of them started to drool.
"Lawyers." I said to myself. I felt like a road kill surrounded by a ring of vultures.
"No doubt about it." One of them smacked his lips. "I saw it. Police brutality." They rose up from their hunched over study. They made a quick sideways glance at the cop whom I could see standing behind them with an expression of exasperation probably more over the lost smoke and drink.
"Good, an eyewitness." Stated another smiling suit. "This poor homeless person was taken advantage of and mistreated by the local police force, knocked to the ground when just walking down the street."
"That's right." A chorus of agreement chanted. "Just because he probably smelled bad, he was beaten senselessly."
"Ought to be good for a couple hundred grand in this town, the cops here like to settle quick and quiet." One concluded with the others nodding in accord.
"Look at that nasty burn on his hand." Another noted. "We can add torture to the police and get another hundred."
"Better yet," the brainstorming started to click, "the maker of that cigar should have used a faster burning tobacco so that the ash would cool promptly as soon as it was detached from the last inhale then the client wouldn't have suffered such a blister."
"Good point." They all echoed. "This could be closing in on a million! We could have two cases here, a guaranteed million dollar!"
"Wait!" A lone voice cried out, "Let's not overlook the hot coffee sear. That's a Starbucks coffee and I do mean bucks!"
"Yes!" They all shouted in glee.
"The coffee shop should have put locking lids on unbreakable containers to prevent any or all spills!" The same solo ranted in frenzy, his face lightening up in revelation.
"That's it!" They all yelled in unison. The group joined hands and began to dance, circling around my prone form, singing, "Multimillions! Multimillions!"
"Wait a minute!" I screamed and leaped up within their circling jig. "As you can plainly see, I'm not really damaged that I won't recover! And even if I was this was only an accident!"
They all gasped and reeled backwards, breaking their chain.
"What's wrong?" questioned I. "If there was damage caused there was no intent. In the course of human nature things happen and there's no need to put a squeeze on anyone!"
I moved away and jumped on a nearby bus bench so they could hear well. "You people have twisted the concept of helping the little man against corrupt establishments only for your gain! There is a need to protect yet now everyone's afraid to speak truth for it to be turned into an unfair consequence. So much for true nature of mutual reasoning together to help resolve and amend wrongs!" I got a little louder. "Justice now is no longer the certainty of truth, only to see who wins. It doesn't matter anymore if the wrong person could the one blamed, no one will dare admit to mistakes, nor does it matter if the person is guilty, getting out of it is fair play. How then can truth be discovered when either side refuses any possibilities of misunderstanding admitting to no wrongs forsaking conscience?" I caught my breath.
The lawyers looked at me with utter scorn, then shaking their collective heads they dispersed into the sidewalk traffic. Most of the people walking by had likewise taken little note of the street person raving on a bench. The cop stared at me then crooked his finger to motion me over.
"You're under arrest." He said as I stepped down to the reality of the sidewalk. He threw me against the wall, pulling out his handcuffs. "You are charged with assaulting a police officer and creating a public disturbance. You have the right to an attorney if you can find one interested in taking your case, which in yours, one will probably have to be assigned to you. Especially now."
He pushed me forward toward his patrol car, the one he drove the few blocks for his apparent favorite morning coffee. We barely made a dent in the flow of the crowd treading by on the way to somewhere.