I will not watch the news today. I will not listen to the radio. I am battening down the hatches of my heart against the onslaught of new information. There is nothing I can learn that makes mass murder make sense. Yet, the facts seep in through the news alerts on my phone. The usual suspects.
“He was a quiet man,” says one anchor.
“A loner.” says another.
“We didn’t know he even liked guns,” says his brother.
Not even the site of long lines of people waiting to donate blood can unpick the scab off my broken heart. The world has gone mad – driven by the advances that enable us to take so many lives in just 15 minutes.
There’ll be candlelight vigils, prayers. Guides on how to talk to your children about this tragedy. They’ll be speeches, even tears. But then the wheels will return to their place on the bus and spin – round and round and round all over town – until the next catastrophe.
Instead I will focus on my ‘to do’ list today. I will feed the dog, take the kids to school, wish a friend a happy birthday. No platitudes there – only action items on which I act. It is very fucking unfairly wrong that 58 poor souls will never have a ‘to do’ list again. I watched coverage of Sandy Hook Elementary through tears. Then the Pulse Night Club, San Bernardino – twice. Charlottesville. Etc. etc. etc. Nothing changed. They won’t after Las Vegas either.
I did not watch the news today. I did not listen to the radio. Their scripts were already in my head from the last ‘biggest mass murder ever.’ I know this script. And I know with nauseating certainty that this script will play out again, and again and again.