Friday, January 9, 2009

Today Is My Last Day


s many of you know, today is my last day as a paralegal at the firm. I have learned so much from all of you over the past ten years. It’s hard to figure out how to say goodbye, so I guess I’ll just get started.

It is very unlikely that the homicide for which I was convicted was committed by me.

Of course, as became clear at my trial, there was some evidence against me—the victim’s girlfriend testifying that she saw someone with my face run out of the apartment at the exact time of the act; my particular DNA on the Buck knife; a date-stamped video in which “I” (or someone the jury was duped into thinking looked like me) described, a day before the crime, precisely how it would occur.

But let me give you some alternative explanations. Let’s say a guy buys a mask of my face at the costume shop. He follows me around for six months, learns my ways and motivations and nails my accent. He’s a hunter, like I am, with a knife (big whoop). Also, he’s some kind of film student so he does special effects and the guy in the video looks just like me.

Maybe that explanation doesn’t work for you. Maybe I did do it. If I did it, though, I definitely don’t remember. Maybe I got amnesia from getting hit on the head with a coconut (LOL).

But let me be clear, especially with all of you, who have meant everything to me since I came to this firm: if I did it, then I’m sorry. So sorry, to the man’s family, to my family, to all of you. I am also sorry that this man who supposedly was stabbed by someone with a face identical to mine owed me so much money. You can’t just go around borrowing money and not repaying it. That’s how people get hurt.

But this homicide that occurred, with or without my actions, is ancient history. I’ve moved on. Granite State Maximum Security Prison isn’t the end—it’s the beginning. It’s the beginning of no bills, getting better at basketball, and being looked up to by thousands of other men because of my paralegal skills. Some of you might have heard these rumors about men making love in prison with other men. I don’t plan to do that. And, to the ladies, don’t worry, they allow monthly conjugal visits (wink, wink).

Anyways, I may not always have fit in here at the firm, but I always wanted to, which has to be worth something. Don’t be strangers—I know where to find you (ha ha).

Omar B. is a writer and standup comedian living in Brooklyn. One of his short stories, “Diamonds & Lemons,” was voted one of the top 10 online short stories of 2005 by storySouth. He has also been published in Mother Jones, WorldView, Boulder Planet, Über, and Asinine Poetry, among other publications. In addition, he is a regular contributor to The Raging Face, the online magazine.

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