I watched CNN late this morning and saw the news of yet another shooting at a school in the US. But to be honest, when I heard the reports that two people had been killed at that point, apparently the principal and the school psychologist, I thought, At least it’s not too bad.
I know, what the hell is wrong with me. What the hell is wrong with me when I see news and dismiss it as just another tragedy. There have been enough this year anyway, and two people are nothing compared to Aurora. What the hell is wrong with me when I see footage of a school taken from a helicopter with dozens of police officers running around and I switch the channel to see what the weather will be like here in Montreal. What the hell is wrong.
I’m pissed at myself for being completely desensitized towards the deaths of those two people. When the news reports switched instantly from two dead to 27, my mind switched off my heart sank my hands trembled my eyes closed and I was every parent who feared the worst as they approached that school and didn’t know the fate of their child. Images of young children ripped to shreds by a crazed, utterly fucked up gunman flooded my mind and just couldn’t go away. I watched the news and thought what the hell why are you interviewing children you sick bastards. On NBC at 12:30 they were still playing Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and thought you stupid idiots isn’t there something else you should be reporting on now. I just wanted to push away the images forming in my head, the screams, the blood, the wretched feeling of bottomless pain the parents of the dead children will feel tonight, tomorrow, Christmas morning when the presents go unopened and every single miserable and hollow day for the rest of their lives and yes make no mistake every parent who lost a child will think about this day forever. Push those images, purge them, they’re replaced with images of me running into my children’s school to make sure they’re all right; now I’m a child again, the same age as so many of the victims, and I’m sitting in front of my TV at home and it’s 1975 and I’m watching Mister Roger’s Neighbourhood and Captain Kangaroo and The Friendly Giant and Mr. Dressup and I am happy, so happy.
Everyone keeps saying there are no words to express what has happened, to say how we feel. It’s true, there are none. We’re just not meant to handle this devastation, this horror, this pain. You feel empty, you feel part of you is gone, you feel you need to help those who’ve lost the most precious part of their lives. You cry.