At the office on Friday, someone said something at the coffee-maker, I think. Or maybe I heard someone talking in the hall. I had a dim awareness that something awful had happened in Connecticut. But I didn't delve. I didn't want to know anything.
Friday lunch was sushi at a place a couple miles north on I5. On the way back to the office, one of my coworkers, eyes intent on her smart phone, announced, "The President ordered flags to fly at half-mast." Okay, I thought. Whatever it is, it's bad.
By the time I picked up Maty from work that night, I knew everything. I saw the reports on television. I saw the stories popping up on the internet.
She'd had a long day of caring for old, feeble people. She jumped in the car when I pulled up. She turned to me smiling, but her smile faded. "Honey, what's wrong?"
"I'm thinking about those kids," I said.
She understood. She'd heard already. They cried about it at work.
The gall. The unmitigated gall of it. Not even three days since Clackamas. How many does that make this year? How many were there last year? How many will there be next year?
I wasn't going to write anything about it, but you know, that would be a kind of cowardice. We all need to talk about this. All the time. What are we gonna do, people?
To those who claim agency I ask, can you hear the devil's cackle? And isn't this a fine world we've made?
But if predestination's your bag --well then, River, sweep us swiftly on!
Take us away from this dark place.