I was in Starbucks yesterday morning when a woman I know came in all shook up over Wednesday’s shooting in San Bernardino, California. Not a TV watcher, I knew nothing about it, so she flipped open the New York Post allowing me to read the grisly details.
14 people killed, 21 injured…three shooters, 2 dead, one at large in assault clothing with assault weapons.
My first thought…what exactly makes up assault clothing. Maybe it’s the model in me, but I suddenly saw Grace Jones in hip boots with an M-16.
As sensitive as I am, you’d expect me to burst into tears, yet I was calm, a numbness washing over me.
I don’t want to believe this, but am I getting used to it, that random massacre every few weeks or so feeling little as I sip my coffee? I was here for 9/11, the attack launching the trend of mowing people down like we were weeds in a garden.
Brought me back to August, 1997 when Princess Diana died. I was coming out of a yoga class with an Israeli man I was seeing who, when I said, how tragic her death was, said, “who cares…in my country it happens every day.” I stopped seeing him shortly after, his coldness affecting me that much. Was he just conditioned the way I seem to be now hearing about one more shooting?
I can conjure up September 11th as if it were yesterday. Can hear the bagpipes mewling, see the line of police and firemen standing shoulder to shoulder for their fallen brethren. I can smell the smoke that made its way all the way up here while standing in line to give blood no one was going to need.
Is that why the offspring of that day rolls off me the way it did that fellow in 1997?
I don’t want to be used to murder nor flip when writing about it. It’s not the norm to strap bombs beneath your Barbour having a beef with the country, yours or someone else’s.
It helps to remember what happened at the World Trades Center in 2001, like giving yourself an electric shock. It was only then the numbness took flight, my heart opening for all those innocent people gunned down on a, what should be normal, day in San Bernardino, California.
It could happen anywhere to any of us, and we must never, ever get used to it…
nor forget to pray for those lost.