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Friday, August 5, 2011

What's Susie's week been like, Monday through Sunday, August 1 through 7, 2011--it's now Friday, August 5, 2011

A lot of people wonder what Susie's typical week is like, after that little road defect threw her bicycle out of control on July 2, 2011.  So let me show you a calendar of a typical week, this week, for example:

Monday:  pain in the a.m.; pain in the p.m.; pain when it gets her up every few hours in bed

Tuesday:  pain in the a.m.; pain in the p.m.; pain when it gets her up every few hours in bed

Wednesday:  pain in the a.m.; pain in the p.m.; pain when it gets her up every few hours in bed

Thursday:  pain in the a.m.; pain in the p.m.; pain when it gets her up every few hours in bed

Friday:  pain in the a.m.; pain in the p.m.; pain when it gets her up every few hours in bed

Saturday:  pain in the a.m.; pain in the p.m.; pain when it gets her up every few hours in bed

Sunday pain in the a.m.; pain in the p.m.; pain when it gets her up every few hours in bed

Some may wonder, "Bob, the week's not even over.  How do you KNOW she'll have the same kind of pain tomorrow, Saturday, and the next day, Sunday, as she had every other day this week?

Let's try it this way.

The scene.  A courtroom.  Somewhere.  Judge sits at his bench.  Jury sits in the jury box.  A witness box, in which a man resembling Bob Dutcher, is sitting, uncomfortably, tense, as if he's not used to answering the questions.  Bob Dutcher is wearing a pre-owned short-sleeved shirt, of the sort which can be found in the thrift store on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, California.  A tall man, the Trial Lawyer undertaking to cross-examine the witness in the box, and bearing a faint resemblance to Bob Dutcher, but much more world-weary-looking, depressed almost.

As if picking up in the middle of a very long, confrontational, cross-examination.  Act 1, Scene 3.

Trial Lawyer: "I mean, Bob, Mr. Retired Trial Lawyer, 'When and where did you actually OBSERVE her having PAIN on Saturday and Sunday of this week?'

Bob Dutcher doppelganger: 'I didn't, or, I mean, to be precise, I haven't.'

TL: 'So you don't know, from first-hand observation, that Susie will have pain tomorrow, Saturday, and Sunday, do you, Mr. Smarty Pants Philosophy Major from Wesleyan?!'

BD d: 'Yes, I do know.  From first-hand observation.'

TL: 'But Saturday and Sunday haven't happened yet, don't you agree?  And I remind you, Mr. Manic-or-just-Hypo-Manic-in-Some-People's-Armchair-Psychoanalyst's-It's-Worth-What-You-Paid-For-It-Opinion, that You Are Under OATH.!'

BD d: 'I'll grant you that.'

TL: 'So how, may I ask [you may; it's cross-examination; I say in an aside to the jury, with a knowing wink], do you KNOW she'll be having all that PAIN tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday, Mr. Wannabe Writer?'

BD d: ''cause she had all that PAIN last Saturday and Sunday, and she'll have even more on the 'morrow et Dimanche, as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, as it rose this morning.'

TL: 'I'm not getting anywhere with this witness, Your Honor, and I won't in-dignify these proceedings with any more questions for this most impertinent and, I respectfully suggest to the jury, Most Manic Maniac!'"

With that, the cross-examination of the witness ended, the prosecution rested, the defense put on no additional evidence, the judge charged the jury on the law, the jury deliberated, and the jury rendered its verdict:

Judge: "On the Special Interrogatory, 'Do you, the jury, find that Susie will suffer more pain tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday?', we the jury find that Susie [you fill in the blank--Will____   Will not____) suffer more pain on those future days, just as she has in the past days, ever since her bicycle hit the road defect."

The clerk hands the verdict form, signed by the Foreperson, to the judge, who reads it, orders the verdict recorded, and discharges the jury from further service on the case.

Exeunt the jury, stage left.  The lights in the courtroom are extinguished.  The stage is blanketed in total darkness.  The audience leaves the theater in silence.

End of Act 1, Scene 3

EPILOGUE

"Pain present, and pain future, are both, perhaps, present, in pain future." R.P. Dutcher, adapted from T.S. Eliot, "The Four Quartets: Burnt Norton", first lines.

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