So many excuses not to report for jury duty.
We just returned from two weeks away on vacation. I have jet lag, piles of laundry, mail to sort through and deal with, and weeds galore.
And there’s the sitting. Lots of sitting is involved during jury duty, right? Sitting while you wait to be picked or not. Sitting while you are listening to opening arguments, witness testimonies, closing arguments, judge’s comments, and finally deliberation. So much sitting! Sitting is painful for me at the moment. I have a bulging disc pinching a nerve in my right leg from my hip to my foot and I’ve spent the summer in pain, in the doctor’s office, taking various medications to stop inflammation and others to stop pain, having x-rays, and an MRI. My insurance company, as all do, has a plan for me. It’s not my doctor’s plan. He’d skip right to the injection I’ll finally have one week from today. But in the meantime it’s meds.
So off I go to an unfamiliar city, not too far from home, to a courthouse. A courthouse where the future of a young man will be determined. Of course I’m chosen. You knew I would be. But an understanding judge, who is familiar with my situation because of my paperwork, asks me to approach the bench and speak with him and the lawyers for the defense and prosecution. Is my head clear enough to serve? Will I be able to sit and focus without much discomfort? He asks? “Yes,” I respond. Because you know what? I’m here. It’s my duty, and it’s a privilege to serve. How many places around this world would deny this young man his day in court? How many places around this world would deny him the right to an unbiased hearing by a jury of his peers. “Yes,” I respond. “I’ll be fine. This is important.”
And who was randomly chosen jury foreperson to guide the deliberations and announce the verdict? I bet you can guess.
Many thanks to the crew at Two Writing Teachers, and the extended SOL community, for giving us the time, space, and encouragement to live the writerly life here each Tuesday and every day in March. Won’t you join us?