Monday, October 11, 2010

Imitation Practice: Model 9

Imitation Practice: Model 9

Passage 9, “Jury duty again.  I’m sitting in the “central jurors’ room” of a courthouse in lower Manhattan, as I do every two years, waiting to be called for a jury, which I almost never am.  It’s an experience that all of us have known, one form or another, as long as we can remember: organized solitude.”

by William Zinsser, “Jury Duty”


My hotel.  It is small and dark with “decent accommodations” as advertised in the heart of nowhere, as presumed, seeing that no one goes to Tekheman, except for those who have to.  It turns out that I am no exception, surprise surprise, and so I won’t complain:  It is a room.


One week left.  I’ve just finished pre packing my “few possessions” and found it all fit, as usual, tucking in the last minute additions, just to be sure I don’t need to buy another suitcase.  It is a ritual I have performed as far as I can remember, one way or another, and it won’t be the last: type A personality.


Another birthday.  This one isn’t exactly “normal” as my Uncle Ted reminded me in his last email, thoughtful but late, trying to be supportive of my travels, which is a difficult façade to keep up.  Other kids my age turned twenty one and had an all night party, or hit up the bar, but leave it to me to celebrate sober in West Africa: purposely unconventional.


The power is out again.  That prevents me from doing “productive activities” like homework, or any work for that matter, sitting around and waiting for the lights to come back on, and only then can I take my shower.  It is my daily routine, with little variation, and something that should have been brought up in the prep class:  P time.”


    I’m in the “central juror’s room,” waiting to be called for jury duty, which I almost never am, as usual. 


    Jury duty.  Again.  Almost every two years, waiting to be called and never am, the experience that all of us have known.


    Jury duty.  Every two years.  Waiting.  Never called.  We all know the experience.


Jury duty!  Again?  Every two years I come and wait to be called by you, and I almost never am.  Must we all experience this in one form or another?  This organized solitude?”


What’s the deal with jury duty?  That strange universal experience all of us have known in one form or another.  We sit in the “central jurors’ room” and wait to be called, but almost never are.  Why, and why the organized solitude? 

Inversion by Parts:

Organized solitude.  As long as we can remember, in one form or another, we have all known this experience.  Jury duty.  I’m almost never called, but here I am, waiting to be called, as I do every two years, in the courtroom of lower Manhattan in the “central jurors’ room.”  Again.


Jury duty is my delight.  I’m containing my anticipation in the “central jurror’s room” of an exciting courthouse in lower Manhattan, as I get to do every two years if I am lucky, going through the exhilaration of waiting to be called for a jury, but seldom am I lucky enough to get the position.  It is something we are all fortunate to experience, at some point in our lives, for as long as we can remember:  Anticipation.

    I’m a big fan of this model.  I think it works particularly well for any mundane task, but it is easy to manipulate it to fit others.  I didn’t struggle with it as I have with some of the others.  It felt more natural, and I liked the blend of short sentences with the really long one, emphasizing the boredom but the tedious activity of the subject. 

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