A Judge and a Carpenter were sharing a drink.
The Judge took a drink and said
“I sent a man to jail today.”
The Carpenter took and drink and replied “I know.”
“It was so foolish to smoke in public.”
“Yes” The Carpenter replied, “But what was his name?
The Judge took a drink.
“I don’t remember.”
“What did he look like?”
“I don’t remember.
They finished their drinks and ordered another.
Both drinks more bitter.
The next Friday they were drinking again.
The Judge took a drink and said
“I sent a kid to jail today.”
The Carpenter took a drink and replied
“I know.”
“The law demanded it.”
“I know.” The Carpenter said. “What was his name?”
The Judge took a drink. “James.”
“And what did he look like?” The Carpenter asked.
“He was a kid. Just a kid.” The Judge said
as he finished his drink.
They ordered another round, the Judge’s drink
more sweet
the Carpenter’s
more bitter.
Every Friday the Judge and the Carpenter would get together
and share a drink.
Every Friday the Judge’s drink was sweeter
and the Carpenter’s more bitter.
The Judge did most of the talking, the Carpenter
mostly listened save his constant rejoinder that
“It’s harder when you know their names and faces.”
Every Friday night for years
until the Judge retired
and the Carpenter died.
At the funeral the Judge said
“He never stopped asking me
about their names and faces.
And I have never forgotten them.”