Drawing only straight lines since 2004
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
We waited in the lounge as long as we could. As long as we were there, we felt protected from what was going on down the hall. Eventually we had to go into the hall. We stood waiting outside the double doors to the courtroom and I was as fun and funny as I could be, trying to keep his mind off what waited for him behind those doors. He seemed amazingly upbeat as we waited, perhaps performing for me as I was for him.
Soon one door opened and out stepped a boy I hadn't seen in nearly 10 years and my friend disappeared into the courtroom. That boy, now grown into a good-looking but messed up young man, sat with me on an uncomfortable wood bench while I made uncomfortable small talk. I talked to try to distract him from the horrors he had just recounted inside that room and to keep myself from focusing on the fact that I was next. The conversation became more difficult as time stretched on, but still too soon it was my turn. My friend emerged and, without time for a hug, I walked in.
My testimony is a complete blur. I never turned my head far enough to the right to see my former teacher sitting at the defendant's table. What I remember most is the carpet in the courtroom and texture on the low wall of the witness' stand. In a blink, it was over and I was back in the hallway, seeing more than marble floor for perhaps the first time all day.
Being reminded of the experience a year later still brought me to tears, but now it is a series of memories that have grown dusty--except when I open the paper and I swallow convulsively, trying to get rid of the lump that has appeared there.