fuck it. i am so done studying that i can't even look at my
business entities book without wanting to puke. the worst
part is that, while i'm pretty certain that i know
everything there is to know about corporate law, i still
have that horrible anxiety that resides within the hearts
and minds of all law students.
so i've decided to take my mind off of the upcoming funeral
for my academic career and focus it on max. who is max?
max was a friend of my parents. well, more specifically he
was a friend of my grandparents.
you see, max was, what you would call, an aristocrat. not
one of those, 'i just made a million dollars on bio-tech
stocks' mother fuckers, and not one of those, 'i'm a
kennedy and i think i'm an aristocrat' types, but a true
he was a direct descendant of the kaiser of austria. he was
the guy to whom money wasn't even an issue. money had
turned into power and power had turned into right. the
right that only comes about through years of relying on
one's lineage to justify any and all actions taken.
max was a good friend of both of my grandparents. which was
exceedingly odd given that my father's father was a country
doctor and my mother's father was a city dentist. but just
like black people, all austrians seem to know each other.
max moved to america during world war 2. from the tales
that have been told you can basically take the sound of
music and place max as the father of the von trapps. he
stood up to the nazis and was summarily rounded up. after a
few choice words as to what would happen to him and his
family, max decided to opt for the safety of his wife and
child and left.
i couldn't ever tell if my parents really liked max. i
think they tolerated him and were somewhat amused by him (at
least my dad was). max was a heavy drinker. to say that
max drank woudl be like saying that okabayashi eats. being
a young buck at the time i didn't quite realize just what a
hazard this man must ahve been to the road. he would
probably down three whiskey's BEFORE dinner. then have wine
(he disdained beer as a poison for the prattling
proletariats). then finish it all off with an after-dinner
i remember loving max as a kid. he was the uncle that i
never had. he was always so kind to me and my brother and
would always joke with us. as i got older i loved his
sarcasm and cynical sense of humor.
max was old school, which was exceedingly bothersome to my
parents who liked to maintain a sense of propriety amongst
the american elitist political correctness. it got to the
point where they were worried to even invite max to certain
but, with both of their parents ever watchful, in the
classicaly, "you be nice to him, he is a long-time friend,"
max would inevitably be a party to our dinner parties.
i remember one time we were all sitting around shooting the
usual bullshit that is shot around during dinner parties
(something that max confided in me he secretly hated, but
felt it his noble duty to condescend to) when max made a
delightful response (after i believe it was 7 gin and tonics).
there was this woman there who had been going on and on
about how she was all about her job and how hillary clinton
was the best thing since sliced bread (this was early 90s)
because she was giving hope to all the career-driven women
after her little self-righteous diatribe max quipped,
"do you have any children miss?" his disarming austrian
accent complemented with the aire of nobility his suit
brought to the conversation.
"no right now. i feel that it is my duty to work on my
career, to provide inspiration to all those women around me
that we can break that glass ceiling!"
after a few murmurs of approval and damn near a standing
ovation max casually asked,
"and what line of employment are you pursuing?"
"oh, well right now i am a secretary."
"well actually a legal secretary. i write a lot of memos.
"how long do you think those memos will last?"
"i mean..." max said, and as he got more and more into his
conversation he would lean forward and begin to gesture,
"do you think that these memos will stand the test of time.
do you right such monumental summarizations that
generations to come will be reading them?"
"well..." and now everything was getting distinctly
uncomfortable, i remember my mother already stiffening up in
a, 'oh fuck, oh fuck' manner, "i don't know if they are
historical memos, but i'm proud of them."
"so you've given up the chance...to share your love with a
being that can grow inside you and possibly become a great
person...you've given up sharing compassion and support for
a child...so that you can write," and with this max flicked
his hand in a dismissive gesture, the gin and tonic swishing
over the clinking glass in his cup, "memos."
"it's not just about the memos," the lady said turning red,
"it's about a woman's right."
"yes...and i'm such that posterity will smile upon your
contribution to the women's rights movement by your ability
to summarize twisted abominations of lies for the devil's
as you can see. max was also not a fan of lawyers. he was
well aware that i wanted nothing more than to become one of
these "dreaded henchmen." he wold always try to talk me
into beocming a doctor, a profession in which you actually
"help people rather than cling on to their problems and suck
yourself content on the tears and blood that are produced by
if at all possible max became even more cynical when his
wife died. his daughter had died very early in life and i
think that was one of the main causes of his cynicism. with
his wife being gone, she must have taken what was left of
his goodwill towards humanity.
while he was still the most charming and kindest person to
me and my family, it got to a point where he could no longer
come to any social functions. he was no longer willing to
let people's boisterous selfish aggrandizing slide by. for
every person who puffed themselves up as teh new banner
bearer for some rights movement max would casually burst
their swollen ego with a single prick of dry sarcasm.
i guess max was just the last person that i remember, or
maybe the only person that i can think of, who just didn't
give a fuck. he had his nobility stripped from him in title
but not in heart. he was driven from his home country and
so embittered that his people embraced such a tyrannical
ideology that he could never bring himself to go back. but
more than anything, he was the only person who was beyond
most vividly i remember one party in which someone decided
to finally "stand up" to max's piercing of inflated egos.
"what have you done with your life, that makes you think
that you can judge others?"
or the usual prattle that insecure people squeak when they
see themselves as vulnerable.
i remember max standing there, then drawing back and making
the face of mock concentration that would always make me
laugh as a child. then he leaned forward, crossed his arms
in front of him and furrowed his brow.
"let's start with the fact..." and with this he made an
exaggerated gesture, swirling his ever-present glass of
whiskey, then slowly taking a sip, "that i remember to zip
myself up after i go to the bathroom."
and of course the guy's fly was undone. and just before the
guy exploded in a nuclear fit of rage max let one more slap
to the face fly as he winked to the man's wife,
"did you make sure he washed his hands?"