Last Thursday, the 9th of May, 8 o’clock in the morning, I was sitting in the “cattle room” at the Alameda County Courthouse. I sat there for 2 hours. Actually, me and 120 other people sat there for 2 hours. Had I known, I would have brought my bookwith me. But I didn’t. So I spent my time watching the “Oreo Lady”.
She was amazing. 65 years old pushing 103, dressed to the hilt in her soft-cotton, lounge-around-the-house, chasing-my-cats, BRIGHT RED, ensemble!
Don’t forget the matching beret, pulled too far down, over her ears.
From time-to-time she’d get up from her chair and wander amongst the cattle, arguing with herself, shuffling her feet. She had BRIGHT RED shoes.
Surprisingly enough I didn’t notice her right away. It wasn’t until she pulled out a brown paper bag from her purse that my gaze shifted.
The bag was at least twice as old as she. The top of the bag had been twisted and strangled into a cane-shaped handle. I’m surprised the bag could hold anything let alone her private stash of…
Oreo Cookies – the forbidden snack.
Her eyes darted from side-to-side. She didn’t want anyone to know she had Oreo’s. Out of concern for her covert operation I averted my eyes.
Finally, I snuck a peak. She’d set the bag in her lap. It was twisted closed again. She had two hands on her Oreo, brought close to her face. She was hunched over, smelling it, hoarding it like a chipmunk with the last sunflower seed.
She checked the corners of her eyes. Left. Right. By the time her eyes were back to center, the Oreo was gone. She was up, choking her bag and shuffling through the cattle.
She’d come back to the same chair 6 more times before we would be assigned to our courtroom.
Needless to say, watching the Oreo Lady was far more pleasurable than the rest of my day.
The judge ask that we not talk about that.