What I learned in jury duty this week:
- I have a serious attorney fetish. Still not sure whether it was the suits, the Windsor knots, the smug-self confidence or my own lack of visual stimuli in a government office, but omfg – I’m going to start writing lawyer porn. The old southern attorney stereotype is still alive and well in these here parts.
- I am in hot demand as a juror, much to my chagrin. And I tried my hardest to appear unsavory. I answered their questions as creepily as possible and I didn’t brush my hair. My name was the first chosen for the first case
- Whoever breaks the marriage engagement doesn’t retain ownership of the $26k diamond.
- The American justice system is flooded with unnecessary cases.
- If one says something with confidence, one has the ability to sway a room of twelve adults. And I’m usually the stupid one amongst my little circle of friends. If a fellow juror turns to the stupid one and asks, “Where did you go to law school?” we should rethink the system.
- levadegratchets : The week gave me the chance to get three quarters of the way through Kushiel’s Dart. I’m a little in love with Joscelin and I love Carey’s imagery.
And now we shall cut for:
I do not make this stuff up.victoriawiley moved back to town last week and she cooked the most awesome southern dinner for me and the Turk Friday night. I do not cook. I do accounting. So the very culinary capable Turk was literally bouncing all day at the barn knowing that he was going to go home and consume food not cooked by his hands. It was glorious and tasty and perfect having old friends and very easy talk with great food in the house again. We all sat around in a stuffed haze afterward.
Summer came in earnest this week, six thousand degrees and 100 percent humidity – so as the sun went down and everyone else was playing with their laptops, victoria and I decided it was cool enough to go for a drive in the ancient mercedes (no air conditioning) so I could show her some rental properties I’d scouted for her and we could bookmark some abandoned textile mills to later photograph.
We drifted around the old mill villages for an hour until I grew weary of my gas gauge/tripodometer/odometer not functioning and decided to go in search of diesel. The first gas station we came to was closed! Closed! So we meandered along until we found another. Certain we wouldn’t be stranded on the side of the road, we drove some more and stopped for coffee. The ancient car is quite sluggish, so I look three, four times each way before pulling out into traffic. It also has no cup holders, so I held my coffee in one hand, changed gears with the other and we slowly made our way back to my house. I couldn’t remember feeling so perfectly at ease in a very long time. The night was cool and perfect, I had my friend with me – the sort that can take six shades of meaning from three words, the sort you don’t have to explain anything to.
As I waited to cross a four lane highway that led to my house, victoria asked if she could hold my coffee as I turned. I thought the question was weird at the time, later she said that she didn’t even know why she asked. If I had handed her that coffee, I would have waited for one more car to pass before I turned, and we’d most likely be dead right now.
We hadn’t traveled ten feet up the side road when we heard an explosion. At first I thought the suspension had collapsed in the back of the car, then I thought both rear tires had blown out (anything is possible with this car) and then I thought something had ignited in the building beside us. I came to a stop twenty feet up the road and looked in my rear view window. A massive steel sign was mangled and dragged across the street and a car was steaming in the bushes. One second, two seconds – no more – and that car would have slammed, sixty miles per hour, into my driver side door.
We called 911 and watched as people ran from a restaurant to check out the damage. I’d turned around and my headlights were pointed at the wrecked car. Slowly, we watched four extremely drunk teenagers crawl out, all unharmed. The steel sign they’d decimated was twenty feet tall, bolted to the asphalt.
I went back the next day and studied the police lines and trajectory. The driver never hit the brakes. Two seconds at the most and my world would have been irrevocably changed. I started thinking about all the problems I bitched about last week and realized they really didn’t matter. I will find time to write. If that’s my biggest problem, I’m good.
We went home and I gave victoria the best tarot reading of her life. Well, it was her first, but the cards were dead on.
After everyone had left my house or gone to bed, I sat up staring interchangeably at my notebook and a palmetto bug crawling across the window. My accounting seemed in order. I really like my life. A plastic grocery bag was on the floor near my feet and I listened as one of the cats messed around with it and then laughed my ass off when the handle became stuck around the cat’s middle and she went tearing through the house.
Two hours later, 3am to be exact – I had to be up for lessons bright and early – the cat was still stuck with the bag and had knocked over every object in the living room. I couldn’t catch her and she was freaked; I wasn’t laughing anymore. I TRIED TO CATCH HER ALL NIGHT! My upstairs is an unfinished attic room, reachable by a staircase that I keep open for the cats. I bought the house from my great-grandmother and the attic is still filled with all of her things and ten years of my compulsions.
This was Friday night. Today – Sunday – the Turk and I started ripping up the wood floor upstairs. We found the cat, no worse for the wear, bag still wrapped loosely around her middle. She purred brightly as we removed the bag and is now re-hydrated and content.
I have started throwing out everything in my house. Everything. I even, god help me, tossed three books.
Other than that, the writing has sucked this week. I made my way through one rambling Schwarz piece where Nagi becomes Schuldig’s financial advisor, but I don’t know if it will ever see light of day. I started, for the seventh time, ahpookishere ’s letters (I swear!) and I have tiptoed around the original thing. I’m thinking this week will be better for all that. It better be. I’m going to go make sure there’s no plastic bags laying around and then I’m going to take my wine to the porch and stare at the notebook, and the palmetto bugs.