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Of late, it’s been quiet on the Western front here at Grey House since I’ve been in the black hole of worry. Back in October I was supposed to attend jury duty at the Superior Courthouse on Hill Street in “downtown” LA. I filled out the form requesting either a change of venue or to be excused due to my knee and the difficulty getting around.

Just to give you an idea of how bad LA can be, check out these reviews of others’ experiences and you’ll know why I dreaded it. I was going to post a photo of the building itself just so you could see how big it is but after fifteen minutes haven’t found one! Anyhow, as I was saying…

Never heard a thing from the court. Then on December 31, 2011 I received a postcard saying to call the courthouse. Phoned and it turns out they’d never gotten the form. The woman at the other end said she’d send another for me to fill out.

The new form arrived in late January, after the diagnosis of a blown out knee. The specialists at the clinic I go to are all volunteers, so getting an appointment takes a while. The rheumatologist I needed to see to fill out the form was booked solid (he volunteers one half day, one Saturday per month).

Finally, the regular doctor I see agreed to fill out the form. In the mail it went. About a week later I received a summons demanding I show up on April 25 or face jail, fines and what not. So I’ve been in a tither trying to figure out how I was going to navigate a whole day. Just grocery shopping with a purse and the cane is involved enough, much less having to lug a book, lunch and bottle of water along.

You’d laugh if you saw me trying to avoid being strangled or hit in the face by my small shoulder purse when I bend down to get something on a low shelf in the grocery! All I could see is adding a second bag of some sort for lunch, water and book. It had me thinking of buying a back pack so it wouldn’t swing around and entangle with the cane and my legs…all I could envision was a crash on the horizon. Thus the tither mode.

(Yes I know, they have a snack bar but I learned from the divorce that court concessions charge $2.75 for a bottle of water and $3.50 for a small yogurt.)

The idea of my knee totally giving out on me, and leaving me stranded in the corridors of the courthouse also terrified me. Would I even be able to walk the next day? If I couldn’t, what would I do? Telling myself that there was nothing that could be done, so why worry till that day was here, didn’t help. My mind was hyper-focused on a potential train wreck.

So today, I decided since there was no way out and the doctor’s explanation didn’t matter to them, I might just as well bite the bullet. I called to ask what provisions they had for parking and getting about. The woman took my jury ID number and after a few moments came back on the phone telling me I’d been excused.

OMG, I was so relieved…YOU. HAVE. NO. IDEA. Just when I was thinking the justice system was even worse and more heartless than I previously thought, a glittering little gift again dropped into my lap.

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