ROOM 278, 80 CENTRE ST.
The Gawker is in the court room again today and I cannot look at him. For a week now, he has been gazing at me from across the court room and I could not place where I know him from. And then, yesterday, it dawned on me. He has been repeatedly checking me out on Scruff. Every day, when I look at who’s viewed my profile, there is The Gawker’s profile. In his profile photo, he is smiling so wide that his Asian eyes appear to be closed. I am not interested and I’m uncomfortable whenever I know his eyes are burning a hole into my pretty face.
I wonder if I should tell someone. Like, maybe Officer Lucky. If the judge found out that his assistant was Scuff-stalking me, would he declare a mistrial? Could I be held in contempt?
The plaintiff has rested their case and my jury duty is nearing an end. A seasoned lawyer, the defense attorney gives his final summation wearing a Gucci suit and he is well-articulated. I like him. I’m going to vote for him. His argument made sense. But then, I thought the verdict would be cut-and-dry until the plaintiff’s attorney gave his closing remarks and he made sense, too, despite his nervous stammering. I like him, too. I want to vote for him as well. Man, this is going to be tough! I was joking about following Mavis’ lead, but I might really have to!
The judge is giving us what he calls “the charge”. I don’t know what that means, really, because no one is actually being charged with anything. He goes on and on and on about the law, and our instructions, reading over every single line of our verdict packet and stopping to read definitions of key words, lest any of us are stupid. I’m looking at you, The Woman Who Won’t Shut the Fuck Up.
I’m excited to deliberate, but more so, I’m excited to get this whole thing over with. It’s been eight days. Eight freaking days that I’ve had to miss work. Boss Lady isn’t paying me so I’ve had to use my precious vacation days to maintain my income. Eight freaking days for a trial for an injury that happened in 2004! The law system is so slow because everyone takes two hour lunches and works half days.
Finally, we deliberate.
We are sequestered in a room, with Officer Lucky standing guard outside. We cannot use our cell phones, nor can we go to the bathroom without Officer Lucky escorting us down the hall. “Does anyone need to go to the bathroom,” he asks. “Let’s go now.” I have to pee so badly that my back teeth are floating but I don’t want to prolong this process anymore. I want to go home. I want to go back to work. I want my life back! Of course the Puerto Rican model raises her hand because she’s been drinking steamed broccoli broth all damn day. I roll my eyes and look at my watch.
“Are you in a hurry?” asks The Woman Who Won’t Shut the Fuck Up. “Let’s stretch this out so we have to come back tomorrow.”
“What? Don’t you dare- I’m not getting paid at my job and I need to go back to work!” I take my seat and scooch next to Mavis. When the model returns from the bathroom, Officer Lucky closes the door and we begin.
The first order of business is selecting a jury foreman. I think the model should do it because A) She’s pretty and B) She’s been in a lot of beauty pageants and has excellent public speaking skills. The Woman Who Won’t Shut the Fuck Up volunteers herself to be the foreman and this strikes terror in my heart. The man who looks like a vampire is also visibly upset by this idea. “No. Just no,” he says, shaking his head. In the final hour, he is not hiding his disdain for her. “I think it should be Mavis. She used to be a lawyer.”
“Yeah!” I cosign. “What do ya think, Mavis?” We collectively turn to her to discover she is asleep.