Friday, July 20, 2012

no ryhme or reason.

I don't know what to say.
I find that I often have that reaction when something too big for me to process in my usual, quick, compartmentalized way slams into me without any sort of warning. There's a lot of intersecting emotion that comes with great tragedy, that comes with being bombarded from all angles by something catastrophic and wrong.
It's a jumble of emotions for me. I almost said cycle, because I often revert back to one or another, but really I find, it's everything all at once, just sometimes one or another comes more to the forefront. When I learn of something terrible and tragic, I usually feel really high alert first, and it's not even that my mind is feeling anything, just that physically, I break into a cold sweat and my body is suddenly, inexplicably coated with goosebumps. Complete focus. I'm devoted completely to what I'm hearing or seeing. I could drive fifty miles and not even realize that my body has been doing it, because my head is somewhere else entirely. Mental tunnel vision.
I feel sad, next. It's a wall of cold air just fully overtaking me. I think of all the people that were living their lives, completely and wonderously normal and mundane, and now will never get to do so again. I think of casual exchanges that weren't worthy of being the last exchange, because they simply weren't the last. They simply weren't going to be. Until they were. I think of putting pieces of broken glass back together, nicking yourself on sharp edges and crying out in pain while the world keep spinning on, crowds bustle forward, time stops for no one. But for the one affronted personally,  time has stopped. In one moment. One moment that can never be explained. Or reasoned with or have hope for repair, total restoration. And it hurts. Even in my far away state, I feel actual pain, I swear I do. I feel so, so sorry.
Guilt comes next, but fleeting, because I don't really have time to dwell on the brilliant and astonishing blessings I have been given, not now. It doesn't feel right to think about how fine everything is with me. How my biggest worry this morning was what people at work would think about the fact that I'm wearing my glasses and I didn't blow dry my hair. It's hot. I was tired. I feel guilty because how can I not? An hour ago I could have held onto these minor inconveniences like pebbles, let them grate in my shoe for hours, something to complain about. They evaporated as soon as I heard the news, but guilt, for the triviality of my concerns, that has come to stay. At least for a time.
I feel fear most after that, after realizing how truly good I have it and how much I have to lose. To hear of things happening beyond control. Out of all of our hands. Out of bounds completely from rational thought or societial convention. Out of the blue, no one saw it coming. People always talk about the fragility of life, of our feeble human circumstances when something comes through and plows our intricate structures to the ground so pointlessly and effortlessly. But you know what? I don't think a single one of us really believes everything is so delicate, so breakable until we're literally staring in horror at shattered pieces. I feel strong most of the time, invincible, in fact. To be reminded so blatantly and horrifically that I am completely wrong, it scares me and I hate it. To think, it could be anywhere. It terrifies me. I cried myself to sleep after watching the movie Taken. I appreciate it for the movie it was and I know there's more than an ounce of truth behind it, but in truth, I loathed it because it shook me to my core. Terrified me the way the idea of a person opening fire at a movie premiere scares me. I so strongly don't want to be the kind of person that is too frightened to live my life. I want to walk in confidence. I cannot stand to be someone who will fret when my loved ones leave my sight. But I am scared, now, and it's not fair.
It is so unfair, all of it. And confusing and terrifying and core-shaking. And you know what? Finally, I feel angry, then. A raking fury that I don't even realize is there until my jaw starts to ache from clenching it in an effort not to fly off the handle and start howling at the sky. Angry Angry Angry Angry Angry Angry. No words even come. I'm not even thinking, not really. I'm just mad, pissed off, wound so tight that a casual "Did you hear about that weirdo in Colorado that shot up a theater? Ha ha. What a fucking nut job, man," from some idiot at work is enough to make red lines appear in my vision. Actual red lines. Every impulse is screaming for me to get up and get in his face and just *#$&(*#$&(*#$&#$*(. But I don't. I don't. I don't. I didn't think it was possible, but I am just even more angry.
In an attempt to tune everything out and to look productive and to find answers or meaning or rhyme or reason or AT LEAST SOMETHING where there is absolutely none, I sit at my desk in livid silence, reading page after page on the internet. Waiting like a vulture for updates, simultaneously ravenous for information and completely disgusted that this is what it has come to. As people we need to exchange information quickly, now it is almost instant. Good job, humans.  I tell myself somehow I've cheapened the tragedy less because I steer clear of Twitter and it's pithy 140-character shows of sympathy. But I know I'm no better. And no better than what, exactly? People that express regret concisely? This is what we do now. It doesn't have to be cheap. But it feels that way and it annoys me and I realize maybe I'm the problem. Maybe it's not about 'cheapening' tragedy. Maybe in judging one person's show of feeling, I'm the one in the wrong. I'm so confused. I'm so angry and sad and guilty and everything. Everything.
Everything about this is confusing to me, everything. Another emotion that runs the gamut today.
Despite the confusion and anger and attempts not to be visibly crying at my desk, I feel so moved. It comes and goes in a moment, but it's something so much lighter than the frenzied rage that it sticks out. It's gratitude, I guess. For people who fucking did something. Who tried to help. Who did help. Who will be heros when the dust settles. Who find words when there don't seem to be any. I feel moved by the way society is outraged, absolutely united in our HOW DARE YOUness. How we crowd around and update each other and try to make sense as a team, even when we can't do it, we try. We try to make sense of it, we keep going because we have to, and we'll keep going. But we acknowledge and we regret and we HATE what happened and it moves me to have us agree, even if it's something so terrible as the fact, that this is wrong. This was unjust and terrible and NO ONE deserves this. Sometimes I feel like we as people can't reach a consensus on the color of the sky, but I'll be damned if we can't come together to offer sympathy and mutual outrage.
And then I feel guilty, again. for finding anything positive to say. Because, really, there's nothing positive to say and anyway, what in the hell do I know? I know nothing, not really. No one I knew was in Aurora last night. I've had injustice done to me and my family, sure. But I've not been touched by something like this. Something that never again leaves once come. In the future, maybe not for a long time, but someday, I know I'll go a single day without thinking about the events last night, and that is a relief to me, honestly, while it simultaneously weighs more than a boulder dropped square on my heart, because how could I?
And then I remind myself, that I am not special. That someday, something may happen that will literally change the course of my life. That may alter my reality forever. Something I'll never go a single day without pondering and shaking in fury and sadness. And that scares me. And I'm back to fear.
I'll go through all these emotions maybe a hundred more times before the day is through, and I'll lie in bed tonight, unable to sleep because of it. It's almost like an adreniline overdose, I can feel my blood moving a million miles an hour faster in my veins than normal. I'll try to reason and then remind myself that it's futile and I'll get angry. I'll cry out of sadness and fear and rage. Mostly sadness, that's what I feel most of all.
Mostly sadness.

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