Jason Flores-Williams

The bartender was a young guy who wanted to go to law school, so I leaned back in my chair and smugly pontificated about the slings and arrows of practicing the law. I can’t even tell you the dude’s name, but it gave me a superior feeling to give him advice. Having taken on a couple of high-profile cases, I’d been on local TV a bit recently, which really gave me license to lay it on thick. I was the center of my own attention, a big man, a rising star on his way to fame and fortune, the essential ingredients of American success.

As the barman poured me my second beer, though, he did a double take and asked me what happened to my eye.

I went to the bathroom and saw the red swelling above my right eyelid. Immediately I notched it up to some mountain allergy. I downed the rest of my beer and went home. The next morning I woke up and the inflammation was about the same, but had spread to my cheek. I needed to be in court that afternoon, so I borrowed my girlfriend’s base makeup to cover the splotches. Outside of wearing makeup, I felt good and strong: a winner sporting a nice tie and a snazzy pocket square.

That night I went to the gym.

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