Heard a loud knocking on the door a moment ago. A very well-groomed, cologne-scented man with a Bluetooth thingee wrapped around his ear stood there. I kinda knew why he was here even before he declared the purpose for his visit. He was here to serve me with a summons. His job can’t always be too pleasant. He’s gotta hear a lot of sob stories. I surely didn’t need to add myself to that pitiable list of sorry sods who feel they must inform the messenger, but I just couldn’t help adding my own tale of injury. As if my re-telling of the tale would help to bring justice to my side, I endeavored to give him the casual, quickie thumbnail: husband left, he shirked marital debts, left son and wife in poverty. I’d happily pay the tab of these ancient credit cards if I had the means, but as a self-employed piano teacher and single mom, it aint happenin. My husband made the money, paid the bills. He bailed, and I simply don’t have enough income to live, let alone tackle several thousand dollars worth of bills. He listened kindly, smiled and offered his condolences on my situation. It helped a little. I shrugged my shoulders and accepted my document. He instructed me to call the number on the bottom.

So I called.

The gal on the other end keeps telling me she can’t give me legal advice. I get that. I persist in my one question: what action do I take now? She repeats herself. Over this we go a time or two. I read through the whole document. I’m not great with this stuff, but I’m usually not an idiot either. I cannot make out what it is that I should do. They can take me to court, but what can they possibly glean from me?? I have no money! I see that I may be liable for court fees etc, etc, if ‘deemed by the court’. When do they do the deeming? Might I represent myself somehow? “Look,” I say, as exasperated as she now is, “I don’t have an attorney, nor money for one. What can I do?” She tells me to contact a local legal services agency. Hmm? “As in a public defender?” I ask. “I told you, contact a legal service agency in your area”. Sigh. I thank her, not without a note of sarcasm, and hang up, a little more bummed out than I’d expected to be.

I can’t worry about this now, I have to get to my son’s school and go over his 504 with the wonderful team that’s come together to help Elihu navigate his low-vision world. At least that’s kinda hopeful.

And I need to summon hope right now.

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