Thursday, November 19, 2009
Random thoughts of the day
This morning I went by the courthouse to file a motion and found the hallway full of people waiting for their criminal arraignments. Here's the weird thing. Most of them were kind of old. Lots of long gray ponytails on old men--isn't crime a young man's game? True fact: If you are old enough to have gray hair down to your buttocks, you are old enough to behave yourself.
Later, a stop for tea with my parents. I smiled at the beehives all wrapped up in tar paper to insulate them against the winter cold and imagined the bees cuddled up around the queen telling stories as they nibble on honey comb.
Next stop, the county jail to see a young mother heartbroken and addicted and missing her children. My favorite guard, knowing I would be safe, let us meet in the library rather than the sterile rather icky meeting room with its one-way glass and intercom. I looked at the book collection while waiting for the young woman to be brought in--the books looked worn out and the selection leaned heavily toward thrillers and romances. John Grisham and Danielle Steele and lots of authors that I've never heard of. There was a Bible and a textbook on biology. I think my book donations from now on will be to the jail.
As I was leaving and walking down the stairway to the outside, I wondered why is the stairway railing painted orange like the suits that the prisoners wear? I understand the reasoning for the outfits to be orange--they are easy to spot in case of an escape--but the railings on the stairs aren't going to escape--they are just plain ugly--surely orange paint isn't cheaper than a nice rose color. Who makes these decisions?
Then a trip to another town to watch a 2 year old visit with his mom for the first time in 8 months. He reached for a toy lion and put it on top of a doll house and I wanted to tell him a fun fact that I learned last night while reading Cry of the Kalahari by Mark and Delia Owens. Under the right atmospheric conditions--when the desert is at its highest relative humidity between 4:30 a.m. and just after dawn--a lion's roar can be heard for 8 miles. The book says that "To roar, a lion draws air deep into its chest, tightens its abdomen with great force to compress the air, and then releases it through its vocal cords, the sound erupting from the throat with such energy that it carries great distances." I didn't tell the 2 year old all that, I just let him play with his mom. But, maybe, there was a roar, there was definitely a tightening in my chest.