It’s early Sunday, June 12th. Outside it’s already another hot, muggy morning as I adjust the straps on Sir’s walking vest. Standing barefoot in my kitchen, on the smooth cool tile, I should be grateful that it’s taken this long to get this hot. I am and I’m not, my feelings are complicated.
That’s why a run sounds good but you gotta walk before you can run. When we step outside the backdoor and it shuts behind me, I notice, I can still hear the tv in the background. I turn the key and the lock clicks securely in place, as the news recaps the deadliest mass shooting in American history — again.
I test the door handle, it’s habit. I have to make sure the door’s locked, that my house feels safe, which is odd. I know how my house feels but not how I feel. It’s complicated. But that’s why a walk sounds so good.
How many times has it helped clear my head? Maybe it’ll help one more time. As I turn around, securing my key in my zippered pocket, I see Sir’s goofy, obliviously happy face staring up at me and I smile. How many times have we done this? So many times it’s habit.
How many times have we stepped outside the backdoor, ready for a walk down the same route, past the same fire hydrants and rustling branches? Too many times to count. But he acts likes it’s his first time, lucky dog.
• But how many times have we done this, on a day like today? Too many times to count, because one time is too many.
• How many times will the headline read, The deadliest shooting in American history? One more time is one too much.
• How many times will a president have to address violence because of a mass shooting? The President has done it 20 times, so far.
• How many times until the headline is one word less and simply reads, The deadliest shooting in history?
• How many times will we collectively feel relieved to hear, this was a hate crime and not an act of terrorism? I’ve reached my limit.
• How many hours until someone tries to twist all this to their advantage either ideologically, politically, or dogmatically?
• How many times until this all feels normal, routine, until all this is habit?
My thoughts keep running, as I open the backyard gate and let Sir off his leash. I check the door, to make sure it’s still locked and the house is still safe. It is and though I know my house is safe, as I walk inside, I still don’t know how I feel. Everything’s still the same.
The tv’s still on, recapping the deadliest mass shooting in American history. I stand barefoot on the smooth cool kitchen tile, nothing’s new. Sir plops down next to my bare feet, oblivious to the world on tv.
Smiling and panting, his body heaves like a much, much bigger creature which always amazes me. I look at him and smile out of habit — and envious he can’t count. Lucky dog.
This is a post about violence and it’s increasingly ordinary, everyday feel, not guns.
I don’t expect answers, hard questions aren’t easy. But if you have answers, questions, or thoughts of your own, you want to share please feel free.
Image via Pixabay.com
© Indian Macgyver 2016