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Judge, Jury, or Veterinarian?

December 13, 2009

Ever since the week after I sent the first batch of invitations to this project in mid-November, there’s one thing I do right after work every day, without fail. It’s a simple action that could have a variety of outcomes on any given occasion. Every day, of course, I harbour the hope that the day’s waiting will yield a pleasant surprise. Every day, I walk home from work, imagining what it might be today, that I find… in the mailbox.

As you likely know from your own experience, sometimes anticipation leads to an anticlimactic moment; on a slow day, the mailbox turns up empty…or worse, it contains nothing but a flyer from a neighbourhood handyman or real estate agent. It’s the good days that fuel our imaginations: the birthday cheque from grandma, or the postcard from a travelling buddy.

Electronic communication has eliminated some documents from my mailbox altogether. I no longer receive bills from the utility companies, banks, or credit lenders this way – and I must say I’m glad to be rid of that kind of mailbox disappointment. And I certainly don’t receive as many letters (if any) from friends like I did in my university days – that was the mid-90s , when long distance phone calls were still pricey, and the internet existed but we didn’t know how to use it yet. Now and again, interesting things, and sometimes the most valuable things, still show up unannounced in this reserved spot at the front door. That was the case this weekend.

After two full weeks of hoping and checking, specifically for a response to the Art of Waiting invitation, the first letter arrived in my mailbox on Friday afternoon – a small envelope bearing an Italiane postmark and 0.85 euro stamp.

Thomas de Fleurian, a student of veterinary medicine  in Turin, Italy, is the first waiter to return the initial interview and thus the first official member of the Art of Waiting (not counting me, of course). We don’t share many interests – if you don’t count our shared infatuation with novel cameras, and the fact that one of his languages is English; and I’m looking forward to his contribution to the project. You can find his correspondence documented on the newest profile page: Thomas de Fleurian is waiting…

The only other item in the mailbox on Friday was also not the usual fare; it was a Juror Summons from the Jury Management Office of the Province of Alberta. I’ve never been summoned for jury duty, so I’m actually quite oddly excited for it. So in addition to waiting for the next mail delivery, I also wait for the next seven weeks to find out if I will be serving on a jury, and whether or not it would be for a civil or criminal trail. I won’t find out anything else until February 1st, until then, I’ll just have to wait.


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