Meet Clint: Part II

The first of three articles introduced us to Clint.

I received a telephone call from Clint’s best friend and law partner, Jerome. We learned that Clint hadn’t been to work in several weeks. Jerome and Anna, Clint’s wife, were worried about him. Jerome persuaded Clint to seek help and talk to someone. Due to the sensitive nature of whatever was confining Clint’s silence, Jerome suggested Clint see someone out of town. Their reputation and familiarity to providers precluded Clint from seeing someone locally. Getting Clint to see someone was an arduous task, never mind the stigma he might face with someone who knows him. We agreed to a two-hour slot.

Clint drove himself to the initial appointment. He exuded confidence with his clothing style, firm handshake and deep bass voice. His athletic frame filled the chair. He demonstrated some relaxed tone by commenting on our seating arrangement. Professionally, he sat behind the desk looking at his clients. Today, he took center stage on the opposite side of the desk. Clint, again, drove alone for this second two-hour time slot. Given some family history at the initial session, I had some concrete information to proceed with pertinent questions.

Though not inquired in the first session, I eased into some family history information. Clint appeared tight today. Perspiration beaded on his forehead. What’s the story of your biological family? Clint wiped his brow and then began to speak about his family of origin. “I’m from the south. I was raised in a religious household. We attended church regularly, Bible study classes, and I sang in the church choir. My parents struggled financially to keep the five of us fed. Dad was a blue-collar worker. Mom was a homemaker. She took on sewing for extra income. We lived in a poor neighborhood. Crime was rampant as well as gangs. My parents promoted and encouraged us not to get involved with gangs. We all attended school. We didn’t live too badly. All of us, well, not all of us, completed high school. Three of us went on to college. I even got a scholarship. I don’t know how I did it.”

I asked Clint, whose continence changed abruptly, when stating “… not all of us.” “My older brother, Rufus, got involved in a gang. He brought home money, which caused problems with our parents. They refused to accept blood money, as they called it. The tension was strong. He quit high school even though he was really smart. He thought school was a waste of time. He said he could make more money now.” Do you know what he was involved with, I asked?

“He was selling drugs. My dad wanted him to leave, my mom fought for him to stay and talk some sense with our minister. Rufus said no. He left home and we saw him less and less. I’d see him on the streets. He always smiled and hugged me. I loved him, Marshall.” So, I asked Clint, what was life like after that. “I finished high school, went to state university on a scholarship and then went to law school. My parents and minister were proud. That’s when I met Jerome in law school. We hung out, studied and partied. After graduation, I found work for a local public defender outfit. A couple of years later, Jerome called me. He was invited to join a prosperous law firm in New York state. He was ready to relocate. He said other positions were open. He wanted me to join him. I’d never been far away from home. My parents encouraged me to seek my own thing and I left. Lots of tears … man, lots of tears. Jerome and I shared an apartment.” Then what?

“I went to a party where I met Anna, my wife. She was radiant and beautiful. We talked all night and have been together ever since.” So, I asked, what’s going on that has abruptly stopped this fluid progression of a wonderful story of success? Did anything bad happen to you or anyone close to you. Clint looked at me without blinking and said, “Yes, damn it, yes. Anna and I were to a movie. We went to our car and got held up by two guys in masks with guns. They took our money and ran off. They threatened our lives, Marshall. Don’t you get it.?”

More in the final article. Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.