It started with a notice. I responded. I received a second notice telling me to call a number the after 5pm on the day before the 2nd of March, 2006. I called and the recorded message told me that all jurors were required to come to the courthouse at 8:45am on the 2nd.
A very groggy chad shows up at the courthouse. I find the right room - it is a gigantic church like room - about 40 pews deep and 6 wide. Each pew can fit about 8 people scrunched in. people were not scrunched they were in molecule spacing.*
*I call it "molecule spacing" because of an example from sixth grade science, taught by Mrs. Edmuson (mrs. ed). We were all told to equally spread ourselves out in the room and stand still... this was an element or compound at its liquid state. We were told to "get cold" and all scrunch together (solid) and to "heat up" by run and bounce around the room (gas). I see people sit in the liquid state whenever they are surrounded by strangers -such as in the train (always a chair in between, some people choose to stand rather than sit between two people) and at urinals and the like.This is when I realized that everyone in the room was a stranger, hundreds of strangers - people were automatically even and then, just as fast, created a society of strangers, all with their jobs and places. Talker, Joker, Reader, Fancy Dresser, Gigantic Painted Fingernails, Suit Guy, Helpless Non-English Speaker, Thug, etc...
We were then given out instructions to fill out our card that were were specifically told to fill out before arriving to court. Twice. We were told every thing twice. Sometimes three times, two or three times, we were told. Things were explained twice.
I was one of the very few 20 - 40 year-old white males.
We were told that there was another room that we could hang out in... in which we could hang out... in which our hanging out could be... anyway, I checked it out, there were better chairs and a window. At this point we were told to wait until we heard our name.
We were given a lunch break from 2-3. My choices were pizza, mcdonalds, burger king, sketchy burritos, and Friendly's. I chose friendly's. I chose poorly. you don't need any more details.
Like animals, we went back to our staked out temporary homes in the courthouse... because the humans go to what they know is safe.
My name was called and I went into a holding area for role call. We then followed the group to another room for jury selection. I followed in the rear... I am usually in the front or back of large groups - like tours, always in the front in tours - it is the best place to hear from. Because I was observing the back was the best place to view. However when we entered the Courtroom I sat in the front side, better view of all of the characters. They called more names.
My name was called sixth. I knew it would be called, I don't know why, I think I just wanted to be called.
We went to the jury box. I sat next to the fancy fingernail lady. She was phone receptionist for an insurance company, but I only found that out in a few moments.