These are Alex's words. This is Alex's view of his war with Hayashi: A test, contrived by the cosmos, of Alex's character and will. What are you going to do? Here's what:
Wake up most days in darkness, on four to six hours' sleep, lift weights, do aerobics, shower, recite his 12 affirmations and report for duty on the 25th floor of the Shell Building early enough to greet his attorneys and their office assistants by first name as they file in. Plug in his laptop in the office assigned to him for the year, sip from a deep cup of green tea, slip on his headphones and cue up one of the 96 Kruder & Dorfmeister tunes he's downloaded—why not Deep S—-, Parts 1 & 2? Dig into one of the 300 computer files he's compiled on the case or the 250 hard-copy files he's jammed into four cardboard boxes.
Speed-dial the fast-food health-food restaurant he opened in Berkeley six years ago after quitting his job as a marketing engineer. Make sure the veggie burgers and air-baked fries are still sizzling across the counter and that his girlfriend, Stephanie Dodson, is still vertical after months of managing the operation so he can keep chasing that baseball and keep paying the $120,000 in lawyers' fees, phone bills, airfare and miscellaneous costs-likely to reach nearly a quarter-million dollars by the end of the trial—of preparing for his cosmic exam.
Risk. Big. Bet that he'll win, retaining his attorneys' services at $200 per hour rather than the contingency fee of less than 33% that Hayashi will likely pay his.
It feels sometimes like my head is about to explode. The ball has become my life.
Cram for the eight-hour deposition that his opponent's lawyers would put him through—a duel of words in which one misspoken phrase could impeach him and cost him the million-dollar ball—and walk away deciding that he could play this game. That he would compose the line of questioning for every witness his lawyers would depose: 40 pages' worth of queries, 40 hours of work, for Hayashi's deposition alone. How else could he afford his gamble, keep the $200-an-hour meter from running wild?
I'm not afraid to want something. Show me your fear, and I'll show you who you are.
Learn a whole new language and spend hours on the Internet studying case law so he can fling ex partes and pursuants and motions to compel right back in his foes' faces. Analyze each word of each deposition for new leads, discrepancies, impeachable testimony, cross-referencing it with dozens of other witnesses' statements, with law journal notes and with media interviews he records and transcribes and can flash on his laptop screen with a blur of his fingers. Work all day at the law offices, then go home and work some more.
Don't be afraid that you don't know. Just learn as you go and trust that you'll overcome the problems as they come up. You don't know where you're going to go and what obstacles you'll face—but that's the excitement of it!
Pay a videographer $1,500 to enlarge and enhance critical images during the 4½-minute Keppel tape. Break the video down into individual images, each lasting one 30th of a second, then burn those images onto a CD and into his brain. Watch it in slow motion so many hundreds of times—with sound run through his stereo system and headphones so he can hear every utterance, or with no sound so he can focus on the most minute movements, with an erasable marker poised to scrawl lines and circles on the screen and compose a color-coded aerial map of witnesses—that he can tell you the names of a couple dozen people in the tangled heap and exactly what each will do next: Watch! My brother's about to get his hair pulled! Listen! Did you hear that? That was me calling for help. That sliver of black jacket you see here? That's Paul Castro. There's Russ Reynolds, see the back of his hair? There's the Asian girl. Look at her face—it's like the fall of Saigon!