ROOM 278, 80 CENTRE ST.
The shit hit the fan.
Today has been a day filled with dramatic testimonies, angry objections and constant gavel-banging.
In the jury box, we’ve been sitting on the edge of our uncomfortable seats, riveted by the testimony we are hearing. Even Mavis has managed to stay awake.
The lawyers are rather serious today, dueling it out via cross examinations, expelling spittle when they shout out their objections. They talk over one another which drives the court reporter nuts. He suddenly slumps in his chair and raises his hands in the air, surrendering to the chaos. The judge’s nostrils flare and he quickly stands up and pounds his gavel, which swiftly shuts everyone up, like fighting children when a parent storms into room.
The cause of all of this bedlam is sitting in the witness stand, with an insolent smirk on her chubby, round face. She is the reason we are here. She is the driver accused of negligently operating a bus that caused the plaintiff’s injury and she has single handedly turned the court room upside down.
I kind of like her.
She is a large black woman with fucked up hair. I’m not really sure what it’s supposed to look like. One side of her head has long hair and the other side has short and spikey hair. Her face is pierced to fucking death. She has a piercings in her eyebrow, lip, chin and an extra sparkly piercing as a beauty mark, above her lips. She’s wearing faded jeans with large holes at her knee caps through which, bulges of fat beg to escape against the fraying denim. Her denim jacket is so tiny that I marvel how she managed to squeeze her bulbous arms into it.
Miss Bus Driver is a quiet woman. Her voice is soft and paper thin and the judge, the lawyers, the stenographer and even Officer Lucky have had to ask her to speak up. When met with this request, she rolls her eyes, loudly clears her throat and then somehow manages to speak with even a quieter tone. Members of the jury shift in our seats and we exchange looks of bewilderment when she does this. It’s as if it Opposites Day in our court room.
Despite her eye rolling and defiant behavior, I can tell that Miss Bus Driver is terrified. And like any scared animal that has been backed into a corner, she is showing her teeth. When the plaintiff’s attorney asks her if it’s possible to open the bus doors while the bus is in motion, she glared at him, clicked her tongue piercing against her teeth and said, “I need you to be more pacific.”
She has been coached well by the defense, and only offers up minimal information, and often times, doesn’t even use the correct terminology needed for a proper testimony. “How do you open the bus doors, Miss Bus Driver?” asks the plaintiff’s lawyer.
“You raise up on the thingy and then you turn the whatever-whatever three clicks down.”
“What do you mean, ‘thingy’?”
“The thing…you know…the, uh, THING!” she says, exasperated, creating circles in the air with her fingers. It’s as if everyone in the room is an idiot except her.
Not one to be played, the plaintiff’s attorney shrewdly detracts from her credibility by correcting Miss Bus Driver’s less than perfect English skills.
“If I had known she was hurt, I would have radioed for an ambellance.”
“A what?” he bellows. “Miss Bus Driver, don’t you mean ambulance?”
I look up to see The Gawker staring at me, smiling, and it takes me by surprise. I don’t look away, though, and when I see his grin widen, it suddenly hits me like a ton of bricks. The mystery is over. I know exactly where I know him from.