Tuesday, October 24, 2006

My Civic Duty

I've just come in from downtown LA where I was required to report for jury duty this morning. I spent most of the day reading. It was a process of careful selection to decide which book to take along. I almost never have time to read. Should have thought of that when I kept begging Byron for more children. "More! More!" while Byron was asking if I loved him really or just wanted his body for my own purposes.

Ok THAT was off topic!

I ended up taking Peace Like a River, which Byron gave me exactly a year ago yesterday on my 43rd birthday. Now I'm 44 and today I started it while hanging out in the offices and waiting areas of the superior court. I am well hooked into now.

Some time after the lunch break (during which I walked over to the very new cathedral,Our Lady of the Angels and observed the last half of a noon mass celebration and then explored the mausoleum below) I was called up with 40 other people to begin the interview process in which the two opposing attorneys select who they think will be an unbiased juror. Sadly, I wasn't dismissed immediately and so I have to return tomorrow and complete the selection process. If selected, the trial will probably take 9 days, which is a bit of a pain in my neck with all that I need to get done right now, but oh well.

The nice things about the day were as follows:

I rode the metro, which I have never done in LA before because it is quite new and because I have no cause to ever go downtown. As I rode along I had lots of nice memories of cities all over Europe which I have been in, and I thought about how strange it is that I know so little about downtown Los Angeles. So that's the second nice thing--I got to explore a little of downtown and to hang out with someone I had never met until today. We had lunch together in the park and then she came with me to the cathedral.

I also got to read a lot. And to see a little bit more closely how the justice system of this country works.

All the sitting around in neon lit offices and courtrooms has left me deliriously tired but I'm slowly being revived by sucking on a tea spout. That's what my friend Brian Caston used to say when he'd come in and find me drinking tea with his wife, Jenny. Jenny the missionary with hot red lips and who used to yell, "Oh come here and give me a kiss, loverboy," whenever she would see Byron. I love that girl. Anyway, Brian would find us and he would say, "There they are, flapping their gums and sucking on a tea spout!" He's a kiwi and I forgive him his colloquialisms.

The tea is reviving me, yes, indeed.

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