Did She Do It…?
I got home late again, set my keys down on the table and threw my briefcase onto the floor. As much as I tried not to look at it, today’s mail was staring at me from the middle of table. She always put it there, if there was something I needed to address in the pile. I picked up the pile and flipped through it. In the middle was this very important looking document, I knew what it was, and opened it anyway.
Fuckin’ Jury Duty…I began mumbling and grumbling right away. First time for everything I guess. It says I have been chosen among all the lucky contestants as the “winner,” of ; 1 lost days pay, a fat ass parking ticket (because you know I’ll be running late), and a full day of watching all the other contestant try and get out of being chosen as the one. Excellent, just what I needed. Well, I guess I could use a day off. Not like I have a choice, as the severe punishment would mean, that I was placed onto some secret Black List for Jury Duty renegades. Seriously though, it will be interesting to see this well oiled machine we call Justice.
The big day has come. Here I am, half asleep from the traffic ride over here, sitting amongst all the other “winners,” who received the dreaded notice, awaiting my turn to be grilled by self-important strangers in funny looking suits. A courtroom filled with paneled walls, a table looking desk for both sides of the argument to hide behind, and of course not complete without all the files and the pitcher of water…so as to wash down all of the words they will be choking out. Then there are the chairs. The chairs where the loved ones would be seated, the press, the simple bystanders, and those who just got tired of daytime TV and decided to come see live People’s Court. Ahh…but not quite the full picture without the man who looks like your neighbors Grandpa sitting in the biggest chair, and behind the biggest table in the room waving his hammer about like a lollipop.
I could hear the whispers of some of the other winners…now completely bored with the process, then the nervous rustling coming from the rest of them who feared selection. As I sat there watching and listening, I came to suddenly realize just how nervous I was too! Go figure. It began to suddenly hit me how close I was to being the next one up there getting grilled about my whole life, and opinions thereof.
I looked over at the alleged guilty party. In my head I could hear, “Will the Defendant please rise…” I almost laughed out loud! I always pictured a guilty strappy…don’t ask me why. Anyways, she was watching everyone, leaning over once in a while to whisper comments in to her Attorneys ear. She was kinda cute. Red ruby lips, blond hair, and well rounded figure. I found myself studying her. What the hell was I looking for? A big sign hanging from her that had “guilty.” or “not guilty,” written all over it? Probably. We made eye contact, I turned away. Her starring at me made me, of all people, a little nervous. Butches don’t get nervous…do they? Again, I almost lost it…and had to tell myself to behave, or I’d look like a fucken’ nut job, over here laughing out loud over what others could not hear or see. I was just trying to picture her committing the crime she was accused of, and just couldn’t. She was accused of Public Exhibition and Intoxication. Guess she tied someone to the hood of a car on Broadway downtown, and served up a hell of a beating. Ok, I just perked at that, and a grin spread across my face.
Then it came, the moment was here. They called my name and I had to snap out of the trance which had put this stupid ass grin on my face…a likely inappropriate grin for a courtroom. As I stood to walk to the jury box, my heart began to pound a little too loud and fast for my liking. I was sure everyone else could hear it. Then all I could hear were the echoes…the echoes of every sound in the room. I felt intoxicated. I swear it took me forever to reach that goddamned chair. I sat down, and fixed myself into position for the questioning. I answered the first few questions okay, I thought. I could not look at her. I knew she was staring at me. Everybody was staring at me. Then I saw her lean over and whisper something to her attorney. He said something back, then stood up and said, “Your Honor, may I approach the bench?” The Judge looked up over his Grandpa glasses and replied, “Very well counsel…” Then he motioned with his finger for both parties to approach. He was covering his microphone, and they were talking in a low whisper. They would dart a look over at me here and there, then whisper again. What the hell? The attorneys then turned and returned to take their seats.
I looked over at the Judge, wondering what the hell I had just said so wrong. What did I do, are there no butches allowed? Before I could make myself almost laugh out loud again, the Judge addressed me. “The Court thanks you for your time, but you may step down…you are dismissed from this session.” Huh? Hey, I know I was kicking and screaming not to be here in the first place, but now I was almost resistant. Seeing my hesitation and confusion, the Defendants Attorney took me outside the courtroom and explained. After hearing what he had to say, now it was time to laugh out loud!
Apparently, the Defendant remembered me from grade school…and as her Attorney was telling me this, his words faded out as I looked through the little window in the door of the courtroom. Oh, my God! Yes, I remembered her now…no way! As kids, we used to play in her backyard after school. She would tie me to a chair and torture me because I always tried to kiss her. Fond memories were coming back to me; only to be interrupted by her looking at me through the glass window…she winked at me and smiled. I was kind of embarrassed, like a little kid. I smiled and gave her a half a wave. Hell, she was guilty all right…lol…now I see why she figured I could not be an impartial member of her Jury.
I think I left the Courthouse in a distinguished manner, hard to tell with my head all a buzz. I didn’t look back until I reached my car. I just stood there and stared for a moment, absorbing all that had just occurred, and then began to truly laugh out loud. As I did, I turned back to my car, removed the parking ticket from the windshield, and drove home. The long way home.