I am happy to be in my fourth SOL March challenge, but I have been struggling with what to write today. I think the reason is simple- I am not in my regular life right now. I am in my fourth of five weeks of Grand Jury Duty. I leave sub plans by the week and instead of walking to school, I take the subway to our jury room. We 23 jurors sit there from 9-5, hearing witnesses and seeing evidence in felony cases. We are Grand Jury 1, and our “specialty” is domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse. We also hear murder, theft, and more.
I would love to write about this. It is a real education. I jot down my new vocabulary: trap house, K-2, cellie, snake. But I have two big problems. One, I am sworn to secrecy. And so I could write fiction, but problem number two is that I am no James Patterson or Walter Moseley, and the crime novel is never going to be my genre.
So I might write around it, we will see. It is absorbing and also distressing. You know how we urge children to make good choices? That’s real- I am witness to where a series of bad choices can lead. My heart feels heavy for these individuals who were children (and those that still are) and for all the hurt in their world. And I also realize that they are not just characters, they are my neighbors, in my home city. They went to (or go to) schools where my friends teach, perhaps where I teach.
But tonight on the subway ride home I saw an old serious looking Grandpa sitting with a little slip of a girl all in pink, drowsy head in his lap. He had luggage and she her little backpack- it looked to me as if they arrived from the airport where this subway line services at its far end. She perked up and rested her had on his leg, he tussled her hair.
And walking down the sidewalk a few minutes later I saw what looked like a woman returning home from her workday on a scooter- I thought at first it was the kind you ride when you have a torn achilles. But I saw that it wasn’t – she had one foot flat on the scooter and the other pushing away rhythmically along the sidewalk on a kid’s razor scooter. And there was a third leg, pushing off to the other side. A third leg with white stockings and blue butterflies on them. Mother and child returning from work and day care together.
These are my slices of life for today.