Friday, May 29, 2009

Jury duty 2

I came back the next day. I tried to tell them that I felt like they were penalizing me because someone else had hired someone to kill his ex-wife. I told the officers that due to my having to see the doctor for my eye I knew they could not seat me on a trial that is going to last a month. I told them I had eight people scheduled to see me.

Of course, no one cared. Their job was to call the numbers, in order, and my number was 151.

After four more hours of sitting, reading, writing some notes, and talking to the last ten people waiting to be called, I got sent into the court room.

I sat in the witness chair and the judge read the statement I had put on the form. Where the form asked if I had any dealings with the court system I had written that as a psychotherapist, over the last thirty years I had seen patients who were policeman, court clerks, lawyers, probation officers, corrections officers, as well as many people who had been arrested, tired, sentenced, and several after they had been released from prison.

The judge asked my if hearing from all those people had influenced my opinion of the legal system.

I told her that I have kind of a distorted view. I said that from what everyone has told me of what happened to them, and how they behaved, and answered questions, that I have come to believe that everyone lies.

The judge smiled and simply said, Thank you, you're dismissed.

I waited nine hours for a ninety second interview. Where is the justice in that.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

jury duty

I had to miss a day of appointments today, but this time I scheduled it.

I had agreed to do my civic duty and show up to be a member of a jury. When I got there I found out I was in Superior Court and all trials would last from three days to weeks. I got sent to a room with about 100 other folks to be selected for the jury of what turned out to be a murder trial. It was a case I had read about and if I didn't have work and have one bad eye I think it would have been quite interested in witnessing how the drama played out.

They took so long to question each potential juror they didn't even get to me. I told them that I couldn't serve because my eye was busted and I have to go to the doctor next week, but I have to tell it to the judge. So now, I have to go back tomorrow morning and try and beg off.

It was interesting to watch my fellow citizens sit around for five hours. What has changed most since the last time I had to go was that fewer people read a newspaper and more play video games, either on their phones or on little hand-held gamers. Most people just seem to stare out into space. The only people who were talking were guys hitting on the more attractive women, although that changed in the later hours and more people just began to talk about how everyone was just sitting around.

The lack of newspaper knowledge was evident again wen the judge opened the meeting with some general information. Of the one-hundred people there I was one of two people who had heard anything about the case.

The most striking thing to me was just how people can just zone out. Everyone seemed relaxed and friendly, and vaguely interested at what was going to happen. But they also seemed to enjoy having a forced break in their hectic lives. They could take advantage of the time and do nothing, nothing at all.

I can never just sit. I read an entire New Yorker, especially about how conservative and privileged Chief Justice Roberts is (at least it was court related). I guess I'm not good enough at just chillin'.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

client envy

I am adjusting to my one and one-quarter vision for the next few months, but I am functioning, going to work, doing all of the stuff I need to, and some of the stuff I want.

This week I caught up with one of my clients. She is an attractive, rather volatile thirty-nine year-old divorced woman. She has a rather responsible job with one of the larger public bureaucracies, which she seems to manage very well despite the instability in the rest of her life.

Last week she got home late from work and then received a call from her current, sometime boyfriend. He is about fifteen years older and works odd hours doing vague things that are probably just over the line from being legal. So at ten-thirty she goes out with him, pushing passed her mother who stood questioning at the door.

It was the night the Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins were all on TV. I guess the boyfriend had too much money riding on the Bruins, so when they lost he got in a bad mood and started dumping on my client. She told him to shut-up and when he didn't she demanded to be taken home. But he kept it up in the car, so at a red light she got out, slammed the door and walked away.

She realized she was about three miles from home and it was around midnight, so not wanting to walk, she went into another bar that was lively and close by. There she ran into the ex-husband of the woman who was now married to her ex-husband. He was there with a few friends. She sat down and had a few drinks with him.

An hour later, as the place began to empty out, the four of them left and found another place downtown. There she met three old friends from long ago and she had a few drinks with them, leaving the other group behind. When it got to be closing time there, they all went to a "private club" downtown, where they drank until three. She then got a ride home from a guy there, who I think she had dated while she was still married, ten years ago. He took her home, and probably stayed the rest of the night, but she was not too clear on that and I didn't push for details.

She said the next morning, which must have been about an hour and a half later, she got up and went to work, making major policy decisions.'

Now, from this behavior, I can give this woman about four different diagnoses. But, I wonder, is this a problem or is it just a good time?

Saturday, May 16, 2009


Been a while for me. Most of that is because two weeks ago, at first game of my long anticipated return to he mound for the Pub Team softball. Bonk. It came from out of left field -- except I was talking to the first baseman at the time.

The ball hit me on the side of the head. That really wouldn't have been a significant blow if I hadn't had cornea transplants 40 years ago. The old stitches ripped apart, the eye bagan to fall apart, and now, two weeks and one two day stay at the best eye hospital in the world later, I am on the mend.

I have good vision in one eye and will most likely get as good vision back in the other eye - in eight or nine months.

Until then. Don't stand on my right side as I will either ignore you or walk right into you.

The lesson from all of this is that if you live long enough, and push your luck long enough eventually, usually, you get caught.

The solution of course is to be Dick Cheney, and expect that everyone is coming after you and everything is a danger. Then you can sit in a bunker with a shot-gun on your lap, drinking pomegranate juice and remaining hyper-vigilant that no one, or no thing can even begin to threaten you.

Of course, this may sometimes lead to shooting your friend in the head, but who can you really trust anyway. My real friends know not to make any sudden moves. A sudden move means you're a terrorist.