Monday, March 19, 2012
Jury Duty IS Dodgeball
PE was one of the most hideous experiences in public school education for a non-sporty. It was particularly difficult for the wanna-be's. We of the un-chosen stood anxiously in our white gym issued Keds while sweat dripped down the polyester mixed snap up top. Depending upon school colors, the gym shorts were a shade not seen anywhere else on earth and the balloon shape guaranteed a roundish bum was covered by an umbrella top. Adult jock females in charge of the cheer leading squad, cherry picked team captains. This meant the twosome deciding fate of the class were either dating the Homecoming King or pumping iron regularly.
I fit somewhere in the middle, but out in the Mojave Desert middle. There was a mad desire to wake up one morning blonde with big boobs and a darker fiendish side that wanted to pummel anyone in striking distance with a dodge ball. The cheer leading squad never looked my way avoiding the matter entirely, leaving me to sidle up to the hard core kids and ultimately warming the bench. Once or twice the gym teacher forced me into the rotation, bringing groans from the ensemble. Big beefy girls on our side slam dunked the opposing squealing females trying to avoid breaking a nail. In between I'd attempt not to become the squishy part between a girl's gym shoe and the hardwood floor.
The person not picked is something I'd grown to be quite good at and did not find entirely unpleasant. Hiding is an art form; blending into the background until softly disappearing, fading until zip gone. In families with a history of trauma, there is the time to be wallpaper and the time to be a firecracker. Human so thin, the molecules have begun to intertwine with furniture, a voiceless object in the room until slowly the cells gel into solid form for an explosion. It's quite a nifty act and can bring lots of attention. This life skill was left back at the curb a few healings ago. Which is why when encountered out in public, I am fascinated by the different colors of the gym shorts.
Feeling my brain cells die one by one in a jury duty waiting room, stories drifted by on the stale air.
"Don't feel bad if you don't get picked to serve on a trial. They aren't trying to hurt your feelings."
"Some guy put his roach clip attached to some weed in the key bowl going through security."
"One time during the selection process, the defense pointed at me and said "no". To this day I don't know what it was. Do you think they didn't like the look of me?"
"Do not bring a water bottle water filled with alcohol. Yes, I'm telling you this because someone has done it before."
"It may seem we aren't doing anything while you wait, but believe me there are many things happening behind the scenes."
"Do not under any circumstances take information learned at trial and go investigate on your own. Do not go to the scene of a crime and take measurements. Yes, I'm telling you this because someone has done it before."
"Even if you don't get picked to serve on a trial, you have done something for democracy."
"Don't take it personally, it's not about you."
As they called the names for each trial, there were those who had sweat dripping down their polyester blend shirts, sitting on the edge of a chair with an insane urge to scream,
"Oh, oh, pick me! Pick me!"
Mixed in were sheets of wallpaper, the invisible populace, fingering a roach clip or taking a swig from a plastic bottle and hoping not to be picked.