Saturday, May 06, 2006

Work is done. I'm a free agent once again and it feels great. Last night, MICA students who are near finishing their year were celebrating last night. Yells, laughter, parties, excited voices talking, I felt a sense of camaraderie with them. I had finished something too. I'd graduated my second year with The Wire, and was feeling the same mixture of anticipation, accomplishment and excitement that they were. Not only that, I'd been a good student. That is, at my job. I finished the continuity book with three days to spare, and that included a day of lost work for jury duty. The continuity book needed a four inch binder, if you want to get an idea of what a huge project it was. Not only that, I did a good job on it. I dare anyone to not be able to find something in it that relates to Season Four.

That day, David Simon took us out to lunch at a wonderful place called Ze Mean Bean. It was Eastern European food, yummy. We talked, laughed, shared stories. There were six of us total, so it was intimate and a great last day.

Now, I must turn my attention to another huge project. The purging of my apartment. The papers have stacked up again, as have things I don't need in the house. The great thing is, I have the time. Especially since my cable, internet, and telephone was knocked out on Thursday, and still is. I'm posting from Starbucks, paying $10.00 for a day worth of wireless. When I leave the coffee shop, I'll be incommunicado again but for a cell phone I'm borrowing from my mom.

As far as jury duty, I wrote the below on May 4th.

I'm sitting in Caribou coffee on break from jury duty. It's my dad's birthday today. Happy birthday Dad! Is this your gift to me on your big day? Jury duty? ;). Really, you shouldn't have!

Anyway, so here I sit with an hour to kill, an iced mocha and blueberry muffin by my side. They called my number, I got sworn in, had to go up and say that I had been the victim of a crime, and no, that it wouldn't affect my ability to be impartial as lawyers, defendant, judge craned their necks to hear me. I'm suffering from a loss of voice due to fatigue, being the end of our show and everything else, and it makes me sound like a very husky Demi Moore. That may be sexy, but the thing is I can't speak that loudly. And though I spoke softly, it was the truth. The crime that happened to me wouldn't prejudice me. What those people did to me has nothing to do with the man who is on trial today. I also didn't take that crime personally. Those people didn't know me, I wasn't mortally injured, I got to have my say, and they didn't get my shit. ;)

Court is a fascinating thing. As we walked down the long marbled hallway to the courtroom, family members of other defendants or victims eyed us and the juror stickers on our shirts. Some made comments, others giggled in discomfort at our presence. We were the people who might decide the fate of someone they knew. Us, or those like us. The whole court theatre was a show just for us, the jury. Everything from the way defendants dress, to lawyer's arguments are for the sake of the jury. It was a little embarrassing, to be honest. I felt like the hall monitor in school that was walking by the rest of the students. My mere presence was as much a reality to them as theirs was to me. It was sinking in for all of us.

I saw a woman in handcuffs being escorted into a courtroom. She wore grey leggings and a top made out of the same material just as tight. She was a big woman with a big posterior and her butt jiggled like grey gelatin as she strutted inside. The people accused become just that. People. They aren't images on television or caricatures of bad guys. They are people who have been caught by a system because of their inability to co-exist peacefully and lawfully in society, or because of a number of circumstances that brought them to trial. Perhaps they are completely innocent. Either way, they ended up in court.

While waiting in the jury holding room before getting called into the courtroom, I fell asleep a few times. I'd gone out drinking with coworkers the night before, didn't stay late, but with my state of fatigue, anything contributes to my tiredness. I put on my sunglasses and nodded off. During my awake moments, a woman who sat next to me told me that one of her friends was a victim of the sniper attack, cut down at a gas station. The trial for that sicko is going on now, which is what brought it up. We weren't sure what our trial was going to be for, and talked about trials in the news. I felt that unmistakable fatigue come on again, and went into the quiet room where I nodded off again. I awoke, and heard our numbers called.

This trial is supposed to last two days. Nothing at work that I can't do on Monday, but I don't want to do it on Monday. Monday, I'm supposed to be finished, and I'm ready to have my head clear of the show for awhile. I can't even begin to describe how hard I worked to get this all in on time, and not just that, but done well. For the last two months, I've worked nights and weekends on this book. Because of that, I'm ready for my break.

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