An uncomfortable encounter with two girls I have dubbed the "Court Watchers" has inspired me to write this today.
I have had second thoughts, but I believe readers should know what I'm up against.
If you recall from an earlier blog, two young ladies named Jerhonda Johnson and Keyonia Jones are in attendance every day here at their hero's child pornography trial.
Jerhonda is 18, she neither works nor goes to school, and she takes the Metra here every day from Elgin.
Keyonia is 23 and has named her baby Robert after R. Kelly himself. (Her son is with her at the court house today, sporting cornrows just like you-know-who.) Keyonia had told me she was to begin classes last week at Harold Washington College, but judging by her attendance record here in Courtroom 500- it appears that she hasn't.
I greeted them on the elevator Thursday evening, and got a mouthful of colorful vocabulary in return- I must say it was impressive language considering the college-aged ladies' lapses in higher learning.
"I ain't talking to you," Jerhonda shouted. "I think you're a (insert vulgarity)!"
"Excuse me?" I asked, shocked and taken aback.
"You heard me," Jerhonda yelled, "You're a (repeat vulgarity), and I don't like what you wrote. You know I read it!"
"Was there a problem? I quoted you directly, I'm sure. Please correct me if I'm wrong- " I asked, eager to ease her ire.
"No you didn't quote me wrong, but I'm mad you (even more vulgarity). How do you know I wait in Douglas Park everyday for Kelly....you're not there!"
No Jerhonda, I thought to myself. I'm not there. But I drive past you daily on my way to WORK- a word it seems with which your able-bodied self is not familiar.
What I actually said? "No but I see you, and my colleagues do too. A lot of people are watching you, Jerhonda."
"You don't know what you see," she snapped, explaining that if my vision were correct, I would know that some days she takes the bus from the park to court.
"That's what you're mad about? I'm sorry," I said, but I could hardly get it out before she shouted obscenities again, this time with television news crews rolling on her outburst.
Sheriff's deputies escorted her off the property, still shouting- but she's back again today.
She hasn't talked to me, and for that I am thankful.
But I'm watching my back, and she should remember that others are watching her.
There's a lesson she doesn't even have to go to school to learn.
Randi Belisomo, covering the R. Kelly Trial