60. Looking for a (stop) sign

Saturday July 18 2020

A few years ago I completed my jury obligations for a wrongful death case and, after the trial, one of the prosecuting attorneys called to interview me. Out of the twelve jurors, only two others besides me had held strong that the doctor had failed to fulfill his responsibility to the patient, resulting in the death of the young father. The three of us were pressured by the other jurors to change our votes. One juror finally changed their vote, which allowed the doctor’s acquittal.

During the post-trial interview, some of the attorney’s questions were around my state of mind during the long trial. I admitted that by Thursday, four days into the trial, I was feeling anxiety when there was no sign of the end. Were we in this for a few more days or maybe even weeks? We were presented the same information repeatedly and it felt like things weren’t moving forward. I was missing both work and volunteer commitments, as well as family events. So, a lot of anxiety, frustration, and a desperate need to know when I could get back to my life.

I talked with Derek this week about writing this journal. “I’m thinking about publishing this as a book, ” I said. “Just for the family to have this as a written history when this is all over.”

“Ma,” said Derek. “When do you think that will that be?”

I don’t know. Of course, I don’t know. I suppose I’m entertaining a bit of wishful thinking on my part, that there will be an end to this. A line we can draw in the sand to mark when we can finally get back to the mundane existence of the old and comfortable.  

The only way to cope with hearing the words New Normal is to make a drinking game out of it. Right? Every time you hear “Hey, we’re never going to see things like they were before March. This is our New Normal” you are challenged to chug your 100% proof of choice right in front of their smug face and tell them that you “gotcher New Normal right here, friend.”

Life during March was markedly different from April, which brought its own challenges before we had to deal with what May dropped on us. Because as we meet every single day in the defensive position of What the Actual F Now? there is no end in sight where we can schedule something like closing out a dystopian journal.  

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