And so I wait…in a cold, sterile, rigid feeling room – one in which silence, formality and respect rule. All eyes either forward or focused on private musings. No chit chat, no hushed laughter, just focused waiting. I am among the early birds, dare I suggest - the obedient, the compliant, the serious folk who somewhere in their DNA have been trained to arrive at least 15 minutes ahead of schedule. No doubt the room will continue to fill – hopefully the added body heat will take the chill out of the room, but the stone cold silence will undoubtedly remain. There will be others joining us, the stragglers, those who were uncertain of their appointed destination, those easily confused in following directions and those who are by nature habitually late. As one enters the room they must make a decision as to where to sit. Many hover near the entrance as if they hope for a speedy exit. The back row is filled first, reminiscent of a southern Baptist church. The more adventuresome traverse to the far side of the room, the more confident fill the first three rows. Many are dressed very conservatory in colors that tend to make one anonymous in a crowd – perhaps that is their goal – or perhaps it’s just more respectful and business like considering the surroundings. A few, like myself, can’t help but display bright happy summer colors. Perhaps we are the peacocks of the world – those who aren’t necessarily trying to stand out but who just feel the need to add a little color to a dreary world – shining a light in the darkness - whether intentionally or subconsciously. The flow of participants continues, the vacant seats becoming fewer. Those arriving near the appointed time have a bigger decision to make than those who arrived early. No longer is it a matter of front, center, or back of room. Instead it’s more of looking for several open seats together to avoid sitting by a stranger. We have become a society fueled by the motto “stranger danger”, having been taught “no eye contact” as if this makes us invisible in a crowd. Yesteryear a similar gathering would have been more “community,” more jovial, similar to small town chatter as we awaited the events that are moments away of commencing. Precisely at 1115 “All rise!”
Welcome to the Galveston County Jury Selection….
The above was scribbled in the journal I brought to take notes if needed. So what does a rambler do while she waits? She writes! I was released today after being "on call" all week. I was not chosen for a panel.