Friday, May 15, 2009

An Alternate Reality

I am obligated to silence, of course.  But I'm allowed to reflect, no doubt, on my promotion yesterday morning to full-status Juror #6.  I'm happy about it.  I feel useful.  I now listen to what goes on in court in the knowledge that my attention counts for something more.  I took my lunch break in the adjacent park with a fellow juror and we spoke of nothing but our work in real life.  The sun shone.  The skate board skaters skated, dangerously.  Behind us, on Wilshire Boulevard, the traffic roared. That much I am allowed to say.  And that the prospect of ten such days is daunting, despite the knowledge that others have fared worse...  I may gather thoughts enough to write something at the weekend.

Meantime, though, without mentioning "the case," I'm watching with interest this alternate reality that it the courtroom.  It's so very different from the life I normally lead, sitting there in the unkind lighting of that small room, surrounded by the judge, the court attendant, the attorneys and witnesses, my fellow jurors.  I know no one, yet there's a kind of intimacy that brings us all together--the common purpose, I suppose.  And yet even the common purpose seems surreal, another world, another life...  It's all a fine study of the habits of the mind, its bewilderment in circumstances outside those it normally knows and feels comfortable with.  

I realize that it is more than twenty years since I have been in the situation of having to get in the car and return to the same "place of work" day after day.  I have been fortunate in that regard, compared to most of my fellow mortals.  I work at home, free-lance, with no obligation to anyone other than myself.  So a part of this strangeness is the memory of those days when I was engaged in that daily chore, and a reminder of just how fortunate I have been.

And now, to get dressed and ready for the day.  I'm actually looking forward to getting back to work...    

3 comments:

roger said...

my memory of jury duty confirms that the wheels of justice do "grind exceedingly slow." also that my fellow jurors (and i) took our responsibility quite seriously.

robin andrea said...

I am so pleased that you are on a jury. I would certainly want you in the jury box if I were ever a defendant or a prosecutor. You will take your responsibility seriously and weigh the evidence. Good luck with it, Peter.

PeterAtLarge said...

Thanks, both. It's good to hear from you, and to feel the support...