Wednesday, October 22, 2014

my day in court


Our family is going through a lot of changes.  I've held it together and I even surprised myself at my lack of emotion.  Then the morning came and I was due in court.

Nothing major, just something small that needed to be taken care of.  I was running late and ran into the building.

A man yelled out to me, "no running."  So I slowed to a walking pace.  Two men staring, I asked if I was too late to enter the court.  I saw no one else in the hallway.  The man who told me not to run said I was on time, to take a seat and asked me my name.

I thanked God and found a place to sit.

The hallway emptied... and I got comfortable.  I took a deep breath and I just started to sob.

The straight up ugly cry.

Not over being there... but everything building up was just starting to bubble over and I couldn't control myself.

A man walked through the hallway and quickly regretted looking my way and disappeared through a door.

I quickly grabbed my cell phone hoping Joel could get my tears to stop.  I felt so exposed.  He told me I had to do this and to think of fuzzy farts.  I laughed at the horrible joke he forced and hung up.

The bailiff entered the hallway and said, "no laughing either."  

I laughed as tears kept rolling down my cheeks.  He asked me what was wrong and I over shared some of my life with him, promising I wasn't upset about being in traffic court.  I told him it wasn't even on the radar for my crying spell.  We agreed it was a bad day.

I tried to take deep breaths, wishing out loud for an on and off switch.

I told him I might just leave, I couldn't get myself together.

He told me what to expect in court, what I needed to do and said to just take a minute.

I did.

I took a deep breath and said I was ready.  He looked at me and said, "Are you sure?"

I managed a teary, "no."  And fell apart again.

He told me to just stand, maybe that would help.  So I did and I walked towards him.

I asked him if the judge would be mad I was crying.
He told me I couldn't cry.

I asked if the room was packed, he told me like 75 people.
He promised nobody would remember me.
He said things to make me laugh.

Kind.  So kind.  He went out of his way to help pull me together so I could do what I needed to do.

I glanced at his tie covered with cartoons... and I slowly recognized who he was.  I asked who his wife was so I could confirm my feeling, and he told me he was married to "a female" and we both laughed.

He didn't want me to connect the dots.

We walked into an EMPTY courtroom.
"75 people" echoed in my mind and I smiled.
Just the judge and a woman to his right.

He told the judge "She just wants everyone to know she's not crying over this!"

I laughed and focused all of my attention on the judge, looking him in the eye and trying not to let my mind wonder.

It took just a few minutes and I was out of there.  I pushed open the doors to a chilly wet breeze.  I let the wind blow my hair in my face as a mask while I let myself cry.

It's what my body needed to do.

I drove to the park and let it out.  I cried softy the whole way home and stopping only after being home long enough to explain my morning to Joel and about this kind bailiff who didn't have to be.

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"Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient may cherish them over a lifetime." -Dale Carnegie

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