And so it begins. Nothing has happened yet, and I don’t suppose it will. Each time the balifs begin calling for jurors I cross my fingers and hope that I’ll get picked. So far, though, no one wants me.
So here I sit.
I guess it’d be wrong to stretch out on a couch and take a little nap. Besides, I wouldn’t do that anyway. I live in constant fear of falling asleep in public and waking up to find I’ve been drawn on with a Sharpie. There are worse things, I suppose.
The coffee here sucks. Sure, I could take a break and go out in search of a Tullys or something, but I’m saving my break for later in the day. In the past three hours I’ve occupied my time by reading an old issue of The New Yorker; playing online crossword puzzles and skimming through a poem I’m going to give feedback on in my writing group tonight. I’ve checked my email three times. I’ve also verified that no, there aren’t any tylenol in my bag.
The thing that sucks most about this is the fact that I long for days when I don’t have to do anything. But when those days come, there’s always some weird circumstance attached. Like having to remain within a certain perimeter, or having nothing but bad coffee, or being surrounded by strangers and not wanting to make eye contact with any of them. Well, there is one guy I’d like to talk too. He looks, oh, about 19ish, is wearing some weird camoflauge pants and headphones and has been pacing around the waiting room since he first got here. What’s interesting about this guy is the way he seems so completely tuned out, and maybe a little too relaxed, like he’d be pacing around anyway, even if he wasn’t on jury duty. I’d like to ask him what his deal is.
I think he’s high.
He has this quirky little smile. Not enough to suggest happiness, but enough to show that he’s in another world, that he’s living outside the confines of this juror room. And the other thing? There’s a large metal box on the wall. It’s about 3′ by 3′, about six inches thick. And on the front there are about a hundred buttons that, from here, look like elevator buttons. No one has gone near this box. No one, that is, except High Guy. He keeps going up to it, approching the thing as though it’s the first time he’s seen it, and pressing the buttons. His selections aren’t random–at least I don’t think they are. He studies the thing as though he’s selecting a tasty snack from a vending machine, or maybe as though he’s playing Simon and he wants to make sure he gets the sequence right.
No one else seems to notice this guy. Maybe he’s a figment of my imagination. Maybe I’ve already been in this room too long. Maybe I need to stop being so observant and just shove my nose in a book like everyone else here.