Reproduced here, in part, is a translation of the notes taken by Juror #[REDACTED], known as one “James D—,” chronicling his time executing his civic duty as a resident of [REDACTED] in mid-January of year 2015 of the Common Era.
7:30 AM I enter the jury assembly room. It is full of pews that haven’t been reupholstered since the Seventies. We are expected to sit on these. The room is like a weird, pea-green chapel of justice.
7:40 AM The guy at the front of the room, henceforth known as The Jurorherd, introduces himself. We’re getting an extra penny and a half for mileage due to an IRS mandate! This is irrationally exciting.
7:50 AM One of the women in the pew in front of me is already knitting. Crocheting? Hell’s bells, I dunno. It’s got yarn and sticks, what do you want from me.
7:56 AM There are several young ladies in the jury pool. I briefly wonder what the etiquette for macking on fellow partners in justice might be, but I quickly dismiss the thought. I have more important things to do today. Like write.
8:03 AM Faded portraits of judges stare down at me from the walls and across the decades. Am I in a Poe story? Or is this a Kafka tale?
Please let it be Poe.
8:09 AM A potential juror just walked in. He doesn’t look old enough to be able to grow a beard. The last time I was called for jury duty, I was at least capable of a respectable mustache/goatee double whammy of sex.
8:42 AM We have been addressed by the Court Clerk, the Chief Judge, and the Juryherd (who is apparently properly known as the Head Jury Clerk, but my appellation is better). They all have senses of humor. Thank Christ.
8:48 AM The tap, soap, and towel dispenser in the men’s room are all hands-free. But more importantly BATHROOM COUCH
8:58 AM Picked up where I had left off reading In the Garden of Iden by Kage Baker. One of my favorite authors. E-readers may be proof of a kind and forgiving God’s existence.
9:04 AM They have the most modern accouterments here! WiFi and a water fountain! Why, it’s almost like they’ve gone about as far as they can go.
9:40 AM Morning break. I hadn’t realized how stiff my legs had gotten. Pews are for piety, not comfort.
9:52 AM I find myself downstairs seeking snack foods. There is an honest to God shoeshine stand here. With a shoeshiner working it. I guess the upholstery isn’t the only thing that hasn’t been updated.
9:56 AM The solitary magazine rack in the juror assembly room has four sides. Three of the sides are empty. The remaining side has a trio of sad periodicals slouching in it.
There are a half dozen fans going, circulating the unmistakable smell of clustered humanity and obligation.
10:21 AM I have been spared in the first two calls for groups of jurors. The herd is slowly being culled. I can only assume the weak and the sickly are being stripped away first.
10:28 AM The third call is completed. The duration of each call is searing panic. I am not prepared to behold the grim, carapaced judges in their court-hives.
10:49 AM Call number four is concluded. I remain unsummoned. In case the worst befalls me, I leave these last few words as a final testament to my brief, grim existence:
Butts. Titties. Wing-wong.
10:53 AM In the past three hours, Knitting Woman has managed to create a small, scarlet disc of knotted yarn about the size of a half dollar.
Mental note: knitting is tedious and time-intensive. Recall this when bemoaning hours required for writing. At least I’m not fucking with yarn.
11:05 AM Emily Sutton is here. There was a brief flurry of selfies taken with her a moment ago. I vaguely know of her, though I wouldn’t have recognized her.
12:17 PM I partake of Subway for lunch. I am caught off-guard as the day’s true horror settles in via a most unexpected route.
They only have Mr. Pibb. I am forced to consume this false beverage idol with my meal. The ordeal tests what small reserves of sanity I have left.
Jury duty is a grim business, indeed.
Translation of this chronicle is ongoing. Further fragments of The Juriad Record may be available for viewing at a later date.