A day without him is three years long

When I went and served on a jury. They asked me to forget certain things. For everyone who sits on a jury, you are supposed to either not know, or to pretend you don't know, certain things. Two people in the jury pool knew the defendant, and they were, of course, not selected. But even those of us who didn't know the people involved, had to forget the locale where it went on. This all happened at the Rose Quarter Transit Center, a place that for any Portlander it is hard to not know of.

But they asked us to forget these things, to pretend that we were highly intelligent rational beings dropped into a courtroom with no history behind us.

But some things they didn't ask us to forget. In their testimonies, the defendants spoke of such things as minutes, and feet. We were supposed to know that minutes were smaller than hours, and not vice-versa. We were supposed to know of the underlying grid of spacetime, at the same time forgetting that the Rose Quarter Transit Center lies at approximatly three blocks X, 8 blocks Y in Portland's Cartesian Grid.

I wonder how much they expected me to forget of my knowledge of space and time in there. Was I supposed to forget that for a twelve year old girl, having your mother shepherd you away from a drugged man who is harassing you will be the longest minute of your life? Or that for a mother whose daughter is being harassed, leaving a gun in the car is the same as leaving it a mile away? I didn't forget that, although perhaps I was supposed to.

I forgot when I started thinking about her. I asked one of her friends if she might like me, and she said dating wouldn't be liked. Who said anything about dating? A date is a little fruit, sitting and bobbing on the time stream. The water rushes around it and keeps on going. She is my stream, flowing around the cracks in my days. I don't sit and measure the days and hours and minutes from outside, thinking that some are filled with pain, some with hope. The hours aren't what I measure my pain with. Until I felt the pain, I never would have known what time meant. I measure my time with my longing.

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