The got me.
I called in, and they told me to report.
I hesitate to make comparisons, but I know what this feels like. For one thing, rehearsing the previous sentence in my head, I experienced an unmistakable, telltale catch in my throat.
Let me give this a try. No disrespect to the people who actually have been, but I feel distinctly like I am about to be sent overseas. “Report at eight A.M.”, I was told. Though the voice that informed me of that was automated, the machine left no indication whatever that I had any choice.
You get “The Call.” (To be specific, I actually made the call to get “The Call.”) The sensation is similar to being “Called up.” Well, I do not actually know if that’s true, having never personally been “Called up.” It is clearly not like being “Called up” in its implications. You do not hear about casualties in Jury Duty.
The thing is, the “Primal Fear” in your body – or at least in my body – appears unaware of the difference.
“You’re being called up for Jury Duty.”
“Not that kind of “Called up.”
“It’s too late! My emotions are out of control!”
In terms of “Visceral Reaction”, all “Called Up’s” seem to be treated the same way.
“You’re ‘up’ to jump out of an airplane.”
“You’re up to bat.”
Some people – and we know who we are – are unable to accommodate that distinction. Our “Fight or Flight Response” is unhealthily lacking in gradations.
You flee like it’s a lion when in reality it’s a pussycat.
You hear “Called up”, and that’s it!
Except you can’t run. So you stay in one place, and your heart beats like you’re running.
You know in the “Called up” version of Jury Duty not a lot of bad things can happen to you. But that’s “Reality” talking. And I am unequivocally not listening!
Does this writing sound hyperventilated to you? There is a good reason for that.
I am currently hyperventilating.
Okay, deep breath.
Okay, another one.
Sure, it’s an adventure. But I do not know if I’ll be able to write about it, “be able” meaning “be permitted.” I know I cannot talk about the case – should I actually be selected for a jury. But can I talk about the experience? I don’t know. And knowing myself and “The Authorities”, I am unlikely to ask.
I do not know what it’s going to be like. Or how long it is going to last.
I just know that it’s real.
And I know that it’s happening.
It now occurs to me that thirty-five or so years ago, unable to make it home after some uncharacteristic “pub crawling”, I once parked my car, and peed in an alley. It was unlikely there were “Alley Cams” back then. I just wonder if there’s a “Statute of Limitations” on “Unlawful Urination.”
Or if they may still be looking for me.
What I am saying is, on top of all my other concerns?
There is also that.
Okay, here we go.
Next stop – American Justice.