Thursday, June 08, 2006

Jury Duty - 6

They opened the door and we filed in processional. Tomb quiet. Maybe fifty of us in all.

It was startlingly, remarkably cold in the courtroom. Colder than the moment you were born.

The court clerk, a young black woman with a languid posture, told us instructions. Sit in these rows. We will be calling your name, your number. We will call you to sit in the box.

A door somewhere opened and a black-gowned figure floated in.

All rise.

His honor So-and-So.

He welcomed us in the sternest possible manner. Yet I could perceive in him a trace of hard-won benevolence, a real thing, not put on nor imagined, that sustained him through these trials with their evidence of repeated, fateful failings of our kind.

I liked him.