Tuesday, April 17

What we do

I spent yesterday in Saltillo, watching the news about the Virginia Tech shooter unfold in meticulous increments. When I woke up today, they had ID'd the shooter as some 23-year-old quiet South Korean kid, who'd left a disturbing, invective-filled note in his dorm room before going on his rampage.

And then the parade of victims began. One by one, their names began to come out. Then their pictures. Other information, like their majors and hometowns, snuck out too. Their friends began to step forward and stutter their shock and horror and sadness to the network cameras. You see their high-school yearbook photos — their clear faces beaming — and you think, "Jesus, these kids are just normal kids." And everyone shakes their head and says, "What a waste."

We don't know them, but we yearn to glimpse them just once before their star fades and we are swept along to the next tragedy.

And we wonder how the cruel randomness of the universe hasn't managed to keep us in bed, under the covers, for our entire lives. If at any moment something could fly out of the sky — a renegade bird, a meteor, a bullet from a crazy person's gun — and snuff us out, what's the point of peeking outside anyway?

It's an easy answer really. We come out for the beauty, however rare and fleeting it may seem some days. Sometimes Life shows us a little leg and it gets us by until Life shows us a little carnage. And then we slink back into the corner, wounded, feelings hurt, confused.

And then we do it all again.

I can't decide if there's comfort in that or not. I suppose there is for me, at least, comfortable as I am in my temporary and incidental distance from such senselessness.

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Blogger TVonthefritz said...

You have so much wisdom in you. Sometimes, I swear to God, that I think you're secretly an 80-year-old woman.

Tue Apr 17, 11:22:00 PM  

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