It's not good for you!
So I sat in Jury duty all morning again today. I KNEW I was going to be called, and sure enough about 11AM they called me for a criminal case. The one criminal case they'd called on either Monday OR Tuesday.
And I had to pee something fierce, having drunk my entire thermos of coffee in an attempt to stay awake, but I dared not ask if I could go then.
They called us into a big, oak paneled room with incredibly high ceilings. It really does look pretty much like it does on TV (Family Court looks nothing like Criminal Court... it's much more "government institutional" like the Food Stamp office, or some place like that).
The Judge read the names of all the people involved, in case we knew them, and then gave a little bit of background as to what the case was about. This was so if any of us potential jurors had an issue or knew anyone involved, we would be excused. The judge explained the cases usually last about a week, which was already giving me pause since the Sun starts school on Tuesday. But when he also explained that the case involved a DUI, I REALLY began to have some reservations about how impartial I could be. Summer time on The Rock is full of drunk driving, and it's annoying as hell, to say nothing of dangerous. The Defendant was an elderly Hispanic man... Mexican, I think, who spoke little-to-no English, as there was an interpreter present.
As instructed, the defendant rose and turned around and I was slammed with this overwhelming feeling that I can't say I've felt in a long time. Sometimes, I can get a "read" on people, especially when they are in some kind of mental distress. I wouldn't say I'm psychic, cuz it's not that precise. But when "Jesus" stood up and looked at us, I knew I'd have to get myself excused. He was guilty. And his whole life was riding on this. I felt overwhelmingly that here was a man who worked hard, probably construction judging by his jeans and red t-shirt (though there were no stains or dirt). He wore his cell phone in a little pouch on his waist. And he drank as hard afterwards, as he had worked that day. He had probably been caught DUI before, but this time he either hit or broke something. He knew that this trial was going to have a major implications on his life, and he was genuinely concerned and sorry. But he was guilty. And there was no way that I could sit there for a week and pretend to be impartial, and there was no way I wanted any parts of messing up his life... particularly since I'm a firm believer that drunk drivers should be punished.
Last fall, a woman was hit by a speeding drunk driver right outside my window. The Sun and I had been sitting in the kitchen and heard the "screeeeeeeechTHUD" and then the car taking off again. We ran to the front window. It was pouring rain. At first I didn't see anything, but then I heard someone come out from the restaurant across the street and ask hesitantly "Ginny?" and then "OHMYGOD ITS GINNY". I looked straight down and realized that Ginny had been knocked by the speeding car from the center fire lane, right out of her sneakers. She lay face down in the gutter, half-under a parked car. "Oh My God!" I said, and the Sun started to freak out and shake, though he couldn't see. He could only hear the horror in my voice. I called 911 and the fire truck came pretty quickly as we have a volunteer house down the street.
The rumor on the Rock was that they knew who had hit Ginny, but as there were no witnesses at all (I provided what I knew, but it was only auditory evidence) the person responsible has never been charged. And the rumor was also that this person had already had another hit and run, and was a known drunk driver.
So "Jesus" really got no sympathy from me... except that I could see how much was riding on this for him. When asked, I told the judge and the attorneys that I lived on "the drunk driving capital" of the world, and that I knew police officers personally and had seen them run DUI checkpoints (which is true) and without any hesitation I was excused.
I still had to sit there until 3P, though, till they let us all go. But as BORING as it was... I was happier there than at work. I've decided the dark energy at work is really getting to me, and I've got to get out. Or motivate myself to do other things. Which is hard, because the dark energy really zaps me.
On the way from Criminal Court (which is one block away from Family Court... I swore that once my case was over I was never going to that area of town ever again... which is why I found my jury duty to be sort of ironic) to pick up the Sun where he was with Nana, I ran into an old acquaintence from my youthful days back on 'TwoFive.
Life had not been kind to him. Or rather... he had not been kind to his life, and in return, Life had jacked up his looks. I couldn't believe how bad he looked. Drugs and alcohol had taken an obvious toll. "You may not remember me" he said apologetically, and I told him I never forget a face--only names--and I let him kiss me on the cheek.
People!!!! Leedem drugs alone! Dey ain't good for you!!!
P.S. the sugar cube might be back. But that's another story.