Who do you see?

Sitting outside the D.A.’s office, waiting for what’s next. A man in a suit had told me that the D.A. was busy, but that she’d be out soon.

Waiting patiently. Waiting nervously.

I’m glad the guy in the suit helped me out, because the receptionist women behind heavy glass was taken up with a man and a women for a long time.

The older man and his adult daughter were speaking Spanish and I didn’t understand them. They sounded worried. They had a lot of questions. It was a good long while before they sat down in the waiting area with me.

He was holding a subpoena too. I guess I am a person who knows how to recognize a subpoena now.

I’d seen on the schedule that my case was supposed to be seen first thing. Later I learned that all cases were scheduled to start first thing, and then they just kinda fit them in whenever.

Waiting. A middle-aged women in jeans and a shirt asked the receptionist how to find out whether her son was going to be transferred to prison that day.

I’d never been around someone who needed to ask that sort of question.

Subpoenas are not a good day. They start out this way:


All-Caps and everything. You can’t make this up. I haven’t been commanded to do anything in a long time, if ever.

It’s not a nice feeling.

Dad and daughter sat on the seats waiting like me. We were the only ones in the room.

I said, “Good morning.”

Daughter was distracted and didn’t notice. Dad nudged her to respond to me. Then he said “Good morning.”

Daughter shook herself out of her haze and said good morning.

Dad smiled at me.

I asked the receptionist if there was a bathroom nearby. I didn’t want to be distracted while I was testifying.  She pointed to the end of a long hallway.

She was very jaded. She was shielded by more than glass.

I was trying to ask her to let the DA know I’d be right back if she came out, when Dad spoke up, “We will let her know.”

I saw him clearly then. He was a gentleman, he liked being a nice guy. He was not just a person with a subpoena. He could do the nice thing, and he was eager to do it.

There is so much pressure on us to fit our roles. We must obey implicit commands all day long.

The suited men and women had been walking fast back and forth across the hard floors, voluntarily assuming the uniform. I wondered at the stiletto heels and how much sensation those women had in the soles of their feet.

My companion, Dad, with the slightest provocation, became the person he wanted to be: the kindly gentleman, willing to help. I had given him a peek of a chance to be a human, not a role.

He glowed with the opportunity.

It made me want to see all the people all the time. To show people, in all the kind and comfortable ways, “I see you. You are the lovable person you hope you are.”

My attorney finally came out to tell me the preliminary hearing had to be rescheduled. She was wearing comfortable shoes, which made me happy for her.

We’re all just people here. It’s okay to be human.