Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Trials of Life

The court clerk led the 14 people chosen for voir dire into the cold austere waiting area outside the courtroom. The huge window on one side of the room looked out over a cemented buiding next door, making the outside looking gray and dull even on a sunny day,

Each person quietly took their seat. Others either stood or sat on the floor. Within seconds most people pulled out a magazine, a book they had brought or a notebook they had been writing in.

It was if no one else was in the room. It was that eerie silence like an elevator full of people but no one connecting either visually or verbally.

I had it figured out from the very beginning. I knew exactly who would and wouldn't be chosen to sit on a jury trial.

The gentlemen on my right had 2 Jehovah Witness textbooks perched in his lap. In one hand he held a small black King James Bible and a small spiral notebook underneath it, all the while chewing on his 39 cent Bic pen.
He was impeccably dressed in a black double breasted suit with black shoes and socks. He wore a white longsleeve shirt with a dark maroon tie. He never once made eye contact with anyone. His focus was on the text books, the bible and the notebook.
He was a "By the book," "No nonsense." kind of guy.
He most certainly would be selected to be on the jury.

The student sitting cross-legged on the carpeted floor was taking notes in a 3 ring binder from the book "My Sister's Keeper" by Jodi Picoult. She was casually dressed in jeans and a red sweater. Could have been any girl next door.
My # 2 pick for the jury.

The tall gray haired gentleman, who looked like a model for LL Bean was standing s reading a book on
"Cabins and Cottages in New England"
My # 3 pick for a jury seat.

God, as I looked around the room at the rest gathered, all these people seemed pretty normal.

A young man in his 40's across from me was reading, "Searching for the Sound;My Life with the Grateful Dead." He had a mesh backpack with several Trail Mix Granola Bars showing through.
His rimless eyeglasses and beaded Indian necklace gave away his previous hippy life.
Now this guy would definitely NOT be selected.

A woman sporting an extremely short haircut, but with a long braid down to her waist was reading a romance novel by Kat
Martin. She definitely had the "business look."
Another "yes" for the jury.

Several middleaged women were reading "People" and "House and Garden." My guess is that they were married, had kids, and/or worked.
Count up 3 more for the jury seats.

A woman sitting directly across from me peaked my interest. She was a very attractive woman, probably in her early forties.
We had commented to each other before we entered the room that we had the same first name, Maria.
She began reading a book I had read a couple of years ago, "Journey of Souls" by Michael Newton.
During a 15 minute break for coffee we rode up on the same elevator together. I remarked that I had read the book she was now reading and enjoyed it. She explained that she was at a point in her life where she was finally beginning to enjoy what she was doing and was just so pleased to have found her passion. She then asked if I could recommend any other book that would point her in the direction of the same issues. I told her about " The Alchemist" that Carrie Link had so glowingly recommended. She thanked me and wrote down the name and author.
Okay- this was going to be the 2nd person that would not be picked. There was just something about her, that seemed to differentiate her from the rest. She seemed more "clued in" than the others. I liked her.

And I of course considered myself to be the # 3 option for sitting out this dance.

As the almost elected jury was called in to face the opposing attorneys and judge for questions as to whether or not
they would be suitable to serve on this trial, one by one, people were sent home, failing to provide the acceptable answers
to the legal inquiries posed by the court.

I was astonished!

The three who were chosen to sit on the jury trial from this group of 14 people?

Yep, you got it. "Journey of Souls" reader, " "Searching for the Sound; My Life with the Grateful Dead " reader, and me.

I was reading, "On Writing," by Stephen King.

Me, who barely knows the difference between voir dier and joie de vivre.

To be continued......


Blogger Monica said...

I will pray that you survive this.
Only you would get picked Suzy, only you. It's like the time you sat in the quiet car on the train.I can't wait to read more!

8:56 PM  
Blogger Jerri said...

Get a grip, Suzy.

You've got joie de vivre down pat. How else could you have survived the film noir that has been your life?

LOVED the detail of your descriptions here. Great powers of observation. Great writing. Great you.

9:29 PM  
Blogger Mystic Wing said...

Well, if the three of you were chosen, it suggests the defendent is a REALLY offbeat character. I hope it turns out to be interesting.

9:49 PM  
Blogger Carrie Wilson Link said...

They just couldn't resist The Suzster!

11:25 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Look at the bright side... lots of material here to write about later!

5:43 PM  
Blogger jennifer said...

Oh, Suzy, great diversion writing...but you could be revising your memoirs while sitting around during those LONG LONG breaks...

12:03 AM  
Blogger Michelle O'Neil said...

You could have done like Jennifer and told them you were lactating?

: )

9:41 AM  
Blogger Jenny Rough said...

Funny post. I'll have to check out the book Journey of Souls.

3:54 PM  
Blogger PsychoBabble said...

Great story. Left me hanging, wondering what the case is about. Will be checking in on you to follow the story. There is always a lesson is every thing that we do. Your lesson will become apparent.

8:48 PM  
Blogger Shelly said...

so, so great, Suzy. i love all the descriptions. can't you get out by telling them you have a loyal blog fan base that can't stand you being in a courtroom??? show them the evidence - look at all these comments!

9:55 PM  
Blogger Terry Whitaker said...

ohmygosh. I love all the people you described. I can't wait to know more.

12:58 PM  
Blogger Lee Wolfe Blum said...

Wow...I love how you described each person! Such a diverse group. Have fun! Hey...and it is a break from work right? :)

7:54 AM  

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