When life deals me a trey-high hand, I often moan to the Sicilian, “I’m cursed.” This occurs whenever I receive a rejection letter from an agent or publisher. Or when once again my attempt to make soft chocolate chip cookies results in a tray of granite chips. “Cursed. I tell you I’m cursed.”
“Who cursed you?” The Sicilian asked.
“I don’t know, but if I ever find out, I’m going to, to, uh . . .” I sputtered
“Do what? ”
“Have them remove the curse?”
“How?” The Sicilian asks.
“I don’t know. I’ll call my Wiccan friend and ask her.”
And now I’m not sure who has the worst curse.
Three weeks ago the Sicilian open a letter from the Federal Court System. He threw it on the coffee table. “I’m not going. Throw it in the trash. I’m not doing it.”
The crumpled paper was a jury pool call for the Federal Grand Jury which meets at the Federal Courthouse in New Orleans, 42 miles across the Causeway Bridge from us.
“I’m cursed,” I groaned. “Why can’t I ever be called?”
“I’d be happy to let you go in my place, but I don’t think that is allowed.”
My bucket list includes serving on a jury. Twice I’ve been called, twice I was not selected. Once we were on vacation; the other time I was excused because my stepson is a New Orleans police detective and my daughter-in-law is an Orleans Parish DA. Cursed.
Daily the Sicilian reread the letter and mumbled mild oaths or not so mild ones.
“Don’t take the name of the Lord in vain. This is your civic duty,” I said.
“To hell with duty. I’ve done my bit. I gave three years of my young life to the Air Farce and have already served on two Parish juries.”
“Maybe you won’t be selected.” My effort to calm him failed.
“7:45 a.m! Do you realize how early I’ll have to get up to be in the New Orleans CBD at that ungodly hour. I’ll have to leave the house before 6.”
I said no more. You can’t reason with a Sicilian spouting off like Mt. Etna.
Well, now I think we are both cursed. He was selected. He’ll meet with his other jurors in secret every Thursday for the next six months, and his length of service may be extended for another 6 months.
The Sicilian’s curse: Six months to a year.
My Curse: Listening to him gripe for the next six months to a year. And I don’t dare say, “I wish I could go.” I’m cursed.