Lawrence Rush was fishing in the Potomac, just off the George Washington Parkway in Alexandria. His son, Lawrence Jr., 2, sat watching on an overturned plastic bucket, sucking milk from a bottle.

"He's guilty," Rush said of the mayor, as he tossed out his fishing line.

Rush, a 33-year-old elevator mechanic who lives in the District, is a recovering cocaine addict. For a long time, he didn't believe reports and rumors about the mayor's drug use.

"I thought it was a setup. First, I thought it was related to statehood, that it was a way of stopping it. Back when Karen Johnson came out, I thought the government was trying to set him up. I believed that all the way up to Charles Lewis. Then I started to believe Lewis. He was already convicted so he wasn't doing this to get a lighter sentence. Then the Vista confirmed it.

"Now, they should leave him alone," Rush said. "His career is ruined. I'm sure his marriage is going to be ruined. He's a ruined man."

Across the region yesterday, the trial of Marion Barry on drug and perjury charges remained a hot topic of conversation. But as the trial draws to a close, the focus for many people was less on the mayor and more on the city's future.

Opinion seemed divided by class as much as race, with middle- and upper-class blacks and whites tending to be more critical of Barry than blue-collar workers. But many people, such as Rush, are simply tired of the whole shebang: the trial, the mayor, the defense and prosecution, and the media coverage.

The thing that has surprised Rush about the trial is "that so many of {Barry's} friends, or so-called friends, testified against him. He was dumb," said Rush. "I know that when you're an addict the people you meet are usually addicts too and can't be trusted."

Rush cast his line out again. "A woman has been the downfall of a lot of good men." He paused. "Well, maybe not good men, but a lot of rulers.

"He is a public figure. You have to forgive him as a person, but not as a mayor."

At The Cut, a unisex hair salon in Silver Spring, all the chairs were full yesterday morning. "I stand here and cut hair all day. As long as I do a good job, I don't think the man in the chair should worry if I get drunk at night," said barber Aaron Mottley. "Barry's personal life, that's his business. He's done a hell of a job for the city."

"It started out as a perjury trial, but the prosecution didn't have enough evidence, so they shifted it to Barry being a womanizer," said Dave Melton, as he trimmed a head.

"The amount of money being spent could have done a lot of positive things," Johnston said.

Melton agreed. "We need to get beyond Marion Barry and focus on education, crime, the murder rate that's going up."

The lunch special may have been fried pork chops, but at Faces, a bar and restaurant on Georgia Avenue NW, the trial was on everyone's lips.

"Everywhere I go, I have to explain what Marion Barry has done," complained Harold Bell, 51, a native of Washington and host of talk shows on WPFW and WUFT radio.

"I just came from Nags Head, N.C., and people down there were talking about it," said a retired city worker who wouldn't give his name.

"And all the hypocrisy, not just Marion's, but all the rest of them," Bell said.

"What dismays me are the ministers," said the retired city worker. "Where is the moral leadership? No question they're hypocritical. But I don't believe in all that hooba-dooba religion stuff, anyway."

When the issue of entrapment arose, the people in Faces laughed.

"They set plenty of people up," Bell said. "So what? That doesn't mean you have to go for it."

"He's got a drug problem and a women problem and still he went up to that hotel when his instincts told him not to," said the retired city worker. "He had to have that pipe.

"He's responsible for what he did," he said. "In any other city, he would have resigned. But this sucker is still running the city. He's on a grandiosity ego trip."

"But I'll tell you one thing," Bell said. "If I got in a street fight, needed help and I saw Marion Barry, Dave Clarke, Sharon Pratt Dixon and John Ray, I'd take Marion Barry. He's the only one of them I think could deal."

Yesterday afternoon in Georgetown, three carpenters, all from Maryland, took a break from remodeling a house and talked about the Barry trial.

"We will have to wait for a verdict but real people will know it wasn't right for the government to go and trap him like they did," said Joe Gorski, 35, who believes Barry was "railroaded" and will be found guilty of perjury. "If the average citizen shouldn't be viewed as a criminal for being caught with some drugs, then it's not right for the mayor to be treated that way."

Tim Schwartz, 23, chimed in. "He was lured into it and Rasheeda {Moore} helped the government. It was a sneaky way to do it."

"He was entrapped," said Pam Schiemer, 24.

As they got up to go back to work, security company owner Ken Pellak, 30, arrived to install an alarm system. He pronounced the mayor, "guilty on all charges."