When I was in law school, I interned at a legal aid clinic about forty miles from Philadelphia. One of our clients was a man named Zeke. He was a country boy of indeterminate age with long, ropy hair and a grizzled beard, and he lived in an abandoned school bus in the woods with his cow Bessie. He was part country hick, part hippie and part mountain man. He was Gomer Pyle crossed with the Unabomber.
I was helping him appeal from the denial of welfare benefits. One day I was reviewing with him his income (none) and his assets (Bessie). He seemed a bit more unfocused than usual, and suddenly he blurted, “Are you married?”
“No-no,” I stammered.
“Would you like to be?”
“No!” I gasped.
But a couple years later I did get married –– to a city boy living in a one-bedroom apartment.
We’re celebrating our anniversary this week, and it occurred to me that I would have been happy living in that school bus in the woods so long as it was with the man I married. Especially if his cow was a Guernsey. I hear they give the creamiest milk.