On a lighter not in the heated blogging of the night…hey I cant do anything else. I cant clean because I’m a minor cripple at the moment. I have no school work, because I have withdraw my involvement with the semester due to other pressing matters. I probably wont sleep until late because-well it is my disposition to have trouble sleeping these days. So I have written a couple of blogs that just may get me hate mail. Oh well, such is the life of bloggers who think allot. Now though, I’ll just write about another interesting day I had. I told you all that I should just start a third separate blog dealing with the random events of my life. Such a blog though, may seem a little self absorbed so I may not do that.

     Yesterday I reported for jury summons. I have never served on jury duty before and had no idea what to expect. I should have, being a resident of Jefferson County…I should have taken all things into consideration. I would have, had I not nearly overslept and almost missed the reporting time.
    My clock was set for 6:30 and my reporting time was 8:30. I only live approximately two miles from the courthouse, but given the fact that it was Monday morning and I generally have a propensity to get lost down town just looking for a place to park…I wanted to be safe and give myself two hours to get ready and be there early. Such is life, I didn’t go to sleep until around four. Why? Oh I don’t know…my mind wouldn’t close down for it. My alarm went of at 6:30 but the next thing I knew I was waking at 8:15….

   I jump out of bed like a ninja and jump into some clothes I had laid out already, brushed my teeth and ran out the door. Waited on my slow elevator and then waited as it stopped twice before letting me off on the first floor. Then I realize…I parked up on that dang hill.
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I tend to walk pretty fast but I did have heels on, so I couldn’t make the same stride. Finally I make it. I find the address on the summons and take off…realizing that I never filled out the form on the summons. It was just a card with blank spaces for current phone number and round mileage from home to courthouse. I get down town after what seems like the longest red lights on earth. I cant find where the parking deck is, so I park in the same lot that ended up costing me sixteen dollars when I went for my astronomically priced truck tag. I hope they are gonna validate my parking..maybe..?

   The “jury management address is what is on the summons…so I dont think it is the courthouse. I use my WAZE app to take off walking down the street. WAZE app stops me in front of the energy building where two people are hanging out outside. I ask them where the jury mngmt. building is, but they have no idea. “It’s gotta be around here somewhere” they say. Well yes actually, it does. Finally I go in the energy building, and ask the nice lady at the desk. “You see that building right there?” she points across the street…”Well the next building over is the courthouse”. Well if I did not feel dumb before….”Thank you mam, I’m sorry it didn’t say that on the card…” “Oh it’s ok”, she says as I walk out. I am now officially ten minutes late. I walk in the courthouse where there is security standing with their big scanning rig, he saw my summons as I was putting my purse and keys in the plastic box. “Mam if you are in jury it would be quicker if you went to the next door and up to the second floor.” I dash back out and down the steps and to the “next door” which has a posting that “this door is no longer in use, please use main door”. Honestly….I’m walking down the street and meet another woman who asks if I’m looking for the jury building too. “Yes, I’m late!” I say. She was too and we both found it…across the street from courthouse..not in the courthouse or “next door” to the courthouse.

   We finally make it to the jury pool room, which is huge and has probably two hundred people in it. We weren’t the only ones late so I knew then I was not gonna be fined or jailed or something. I fill out the info I forgot on the card and sat down between people. Getting in and out of the seats was like being in a movie theater because most people had a chair between them. I am sitting there for about five minutes when the little administrative lady takes the microphone and says that a set of keys were left up front…..oh yes it was my keys so I had to annoy the older couple next to me and go get them. Remember …movie theater. 
   A judge comes in and goes over the upcoming procedure. He introduces a kid, whose name I dont remember, “little mikey” who is here from California and is touring the courthouse and obviously shadowing the judge. He wants to be a lawyer. I used to want to be lawyer. I should have done that. I should have joined the marines. Any time anything has went wrong this year I have had that thought “I should have just joined the marines”. 

The judge goes on about some forms that waive the fees of ten dollars a day and the five cents per mile…wait what? I have to pay to be on jury duty…but its a civic requirement? What? He states that about twenty percent of the pool usually does fill the forms out, and it is a testament being that Jefferson County is considered a poor county. I really started to worry then. He finally introduces two judges that are going to basically sift the pool. If you have a legitimate excuse to not be here line up and they will consider them. The guy next to me got called just last month and was released for his excuse, and they called him back. The woman behind me had been released for her excuse and like clock work they called her back. We just decided to stay, in our individual minds. I was just listening to my surroundings. Half the room lined up and surprisingly most of them were released. 
   Another worker bee came in and went over the basics of jury duty. Dont talk if you are put on a case. If you are not put on the case that you leave the room for you are to come back here. Parking one  for jury duty is in the parking deck we are over….”oh” I thought “that is where the parking deck is”. The overflow parking is at the Boltwell (where the heck is that?) if you parked in the parking right out here it is one dollar for the first hour and four for every hour after that. If you parked there you may want to move when we give you a break. We cannot reimburse you for parking there and they will not let you leave…and on that note there is an ATM right outside this door. All I could think of was moving the car now. Would my car even move? What if my car doesn’t move? My gas light was on on the way down here. I was planning scenarios in my mind and what moves to make if my car ran out of gas right here in the middle of downtown. I should have joined the marines. 

  We get let go for twenty minutes and I got my parking pass for the week and twenty bucks out of the ATM which also charges me two bucks for the convenience and ran down stairs and across the lot. Someone in the attendants window did not hear the worker bee on the inside say “cash or check” nor did they see the various postings that said “cash or check”. God don’t let me run out of gas while I am backing up to let this fool back in. I finally hand the attendant twenty bucks, I’m on the ready to hurry and park this rig in its appropriate place before you charge me another four dollars. She looks at me with the same disgruntled expression she had back in February “GIVE ME YOUR PARKING TICKET!” “Oh, I’m so sorry mam, I raffle in the purse to get the blue ticket. These angry city workers my gosh. Finally out of the prison for charge…I make my way just a few feet down the street to the jury parking deck. I go all the way to the last deck…no parking. Will have to park at the ….whatever that name was. I ask the attendant and he tells me “to the end of this road turn left get int he far lane and turn right, it is right by the art museum. I go. I get behind a nimrod who is just sitting in the middle of deck trying to figure out which way to go. I cant believe this is happening. God is punishing me for being irresponsible with my time I just know that he is.  Finally I park. I’m closing in on my twenty minute break. I take off up the street, remembering the directions to the deck from the attendant and reversing them. “where the heck am I?” …I am walking in the wrong direction…”HAVE YOU SEEN THE ART MUSEUM, DANIELLE?”….oh God. I about face and start the other way, as fast as I can in my open toe heels. My feet are sweating, the soles are plastic and my feet are trying to come out the toe of the shoes. Should have known…what a dumb idea. I thought the process of picking the jury would be in doors in one place for a future dated case…Jefferson County. I get back in the jury pool room and from what I could tell nothing had taken place that I missed. 
    The law clerk comes in calls, in alphabetical order, forty two names. I was in them so we lined up against the wall and then followed him to the assigned courtroom. We stood in the hall until the courtroom was ready. Now we are down to the good stuff. The lawyers asked questions and people raised their hands if the questions applied. Each and every hand raised was addressed and heard….this was going to take a while. We were given an hour lunch break. I made acquaintance with a juror who said she has been called five time-twice in New York and three times in Birmingham, but she has never been assigned a case. Oh maybe I wont be assigned…but they act like you will be here all week regardless. I would rather be assigned then recycled back into the pool, I think. I dont know where to eat and I dont want to walk downtown by myself. The lady says the Alabama Power building has a food court and its awesome. OK-lets go, it is food…I love food and have not eaten. The Alabama Power building is about six blocks away. My steps are getting slower and slower. The lady comments on my shoes “you wore them before and you walking like THAT?” Yes, mam…I can walk in heels..I just dont usually walk in them ALLOT…and my foot is sliding out.” I feel like I have lost my feminine grace card. During lunch I look down and see blood seeping out from under my toe. “Oh God”. I cant take my shoes off and inspect right here in the place of food but from what I could see of my sole it looks inflamed..
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We find a bathroom and I consider walking back to the courthouse bare foot…but when I see that one of my feet has lost skin I think it would be better to not get a air born infection into my bloodstream….I also would like to not leave what remains of my feet on the concrete. So I put some paper towels in my shoes to keep from sliding my feet anymore. We start off back to the courthouse. Which, in normal life is only about a ten minute walk. My steps are getting slower, and my friend who is busy telling off her daughter on the phone has forgot about me. A scrawny man with a plastic bag in his hand tries to stop me and ask me questions. Having lived downtown for a while now, I can sense when I am about to be asked for money and I quicken my pace “sir I am headed for jury duty, I cant stop”. He gets pissed off. He is saying something I cant make out about the white guy ahead of me that I cant see thinking or saying something about him. He takes off the opposite way then comes back. I’m walking as fast as I can to try to catch up with the little lady juror friend. He is walking around me saying something in tense tones, I ignore him. It is broad daylight and the sidewalks have people. There are cops close by for Godsake it is the courthouse square. “WOULD YOU PLEASE STEP OUT OF MY WAY” the guys says….there is plenty of sidewalk beside me, which he already knows because he is burning it up walking back and forth. He takes off ahead “YOUR HEELS AIN’T THAT HIGH!” He goes on about “you people” and finally disappears and I can still see my friend ahead.
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Way ahead. “I thought you were my friend” I thought…”you left me to the hounds”.

  Back in the jury box my feet were pounding. So were my calves and my back. It was cold and I was trying not to doze. Every time a lawyer asked a question eighty percent of the 42 people raised their hands. When the final twelve were chosen, I noted it was the ones who barely spoke the whole time. Interesting. The process was interesting, I don’t have a problem learning and experiencing things so I thought I might actually take something from this. I just needed to live through the day….oh and get my truck home after this. Where is the nearest gas station in the heart of downtown? I determined that if one was close I should suffer the walk to it, and buy a can and get a little bit,instead of chancing my truck stalling during a time of day when everyone is leaving work.

      When we are finally dismissed for the day, it is four fifteen p.m. and I put in my WAZE app for the nearest gas station-bingo! 0.0 miles away. I start walking. Waze app stops…in front of the energy building. I put in again and there is one less than a mile away…I start walking and realize that there is not one down here either and if there was I cant walk that far. I’m gonna have to ask Jesus to take the wheel and let me get to one with me inside the truck. I reverse my steps and by this time I’m limping and thinking “how did I think I would get gas and make it back after four p.m. safely”. I feel skin moving. “I would have shattered my feet in the marines…they would have killed me”. A car slows down alongside “oh no”. The window rolls down “Oh God no…don’t”

   “Hey good lookin”…this isn’t happening. I keep walking, the pain getting to my knees.

   “How about we get acquainted”. The dude looks like he has a pimp hat and gold teeth. I’m limping. Not swaying. Not jiggling. Not even walking with air of confidence. I’m not nice either. 

   “NOOOOOOO !!!THANK YOU!!!!!” I said loudly as the pain and exasperation came through my yell. “Ok” he said quickly and took off faster than a speeding bullet. 

    I get back to the overflow parking deck and wait at the attendant window for way to long then it should take anyone to open a gate, when you are not paying for the parking spot. WAZE app….takes me back to the energy building. Second option…takes me nowhere. Apparently these are not actual stations that WAZE is picking up. I finally make it a mile away to a gas station. Get fifteen bucks worth and a pack of smokes and head home…but first I get gauze pads, rolling gauze and a jar of peanut butter so I can save twelve bucks on lunch the next day, when the actual case would begin.

    Upon arrival I look at my feet and wash them which was even more painful then walking.

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I bind them up just for the cushioned comfort and to press the salve on. On one foot it looked like I had double cushions on each toe…and blister below each toe. Across the arch was blue and red. The foot where blisters had popped already had skin moved around like a bed sheet after its been slept in. It was pretty gross. Feminine card-gone. Sometimes I honestly wish my feet were bigger. They are small and high arched, and they tend to roll inward. The older I get the more foot pain I tend to have if proper measures are not taken. Today was not a proper measure. 

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So I had a glass of wine and went to sleep. Slept until this morning where I got up bright and early, made coffee and got some cinnamon roles from the vending machine downstairs. I made a peanut butter sandwich, redressed my wounds and rocked my moccasins. Those gauze pads saved my feet today.

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Especially bright and early..walking to my now appropriated parking spot..up this hill…

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It was a good day.

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Moral, don’t walk downtown in cheap heels….and watch your six there are crazy people out there.

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