Friday, December 14, 2012

I Don't Understand

I don't understand.

There was a school shooting today, at an elementary school in Connecticut. I know don't that the final count is in yet, but at least eighteen children were killed.

Eighteen children, between the ages of five and ten years old.

Children who were learning their ABCs. Children who were trying to make sense out of adding fractions. Children who were making little clay turtles in art class. Children who had play dates or dance classes after school. Children who went to school today to learn things, talk with their friends, and swap peanut butter sandwiches at lunch.

And all I can say is I don't understand it. I don't understand the mindset that would compel one human being to take another human being's life under any circumstances. I don't understand the universe wherein depriving another living thing its right to existence is justifiable. I don't understand the circumstances of the shooter's life that made him think opening fire on a room full of five year olds was his only option. I just don't understand it.

A lot of people online are calling for greater gun control laws, and crying out to the government to step in. Shouting, "See? We've been right all along. Won't you listen to us now?" I don't want to do that. This, to me, is not a political issue. This is an horrific day for the parents, friends, and loved ones of everyone who was in that school.

I know for the greater social consciousness, it is probably better that the perpetrators of such horrific crimes die at the time of the crime. I know I would not feel safe knowing he was still alive. But oddly, I can't help but wish we had just a few minutes to try to find out what was going on in his head, in his words. What brought him to this conclusion. What was going on in his life that at 20 years old, he felt he had to go kill children. How does someone get so messed up so young?

My guess is that he is going to be painted as a loner, somewhat anti-social, though maybe very bright. I was somewhat anti-social growing up, sometimes considered a loner, and very bright. Yet I somehow managed to make it this far knowing that taking the life of another is not okay. Hell, I'm vegan and feel guilty killing bugs. But I wish we could have known what it was about this boy on this day at this elementary school. Maybe if we had more information, we could have helped him make a different choice. Or maybe if we had more information, we could reach out to other kids in similar circumstances before the idea of mass murder enters their heads.

Or maybe I'm just being naive.

I don't understand it, and my heart aches for the friends, families and loved ones of the victims.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012


I basically have two things on my mind as of late - boys and boots. I'm not going to talk about the boy stuff on this blog, so let's talk about boots.

Sadly, I'm  not talking the fun kind of boots, though. I'm talking the big, clunky walking boot they give you when you break your ankle. Because yes, I broke my ankle. Saturday, November 24, I took a fall exactly wrong during the derby play I'm in and snapped my ankle. I finished the scene and stayed on stage until it made sense for me to exit and then cried like a baby. I didn't know until the following Monday that it was actually broken, though. It's not a terrible break - it's not the weight-bearing bone that broke which is why I get a boot instead of a cast - and the bones pretty much stayed where they should so my podiatrist is expecting a fairly easy recovery.

It's just going to take a while.

The sort of fascinating thing about the boot is that I get to take it off and see my foot every day. I am watching the swelling go down, the bruises appear and start to fade away. Okay, only one bruise is starting to fade away and for the most part, my foot looks like a zombie foot, but it is an interesting process to physically watch a broken bone heal (from the outside anyway).

But when I'm not being fascinated by it, I'm largely annoyed. The boot is not comfortable. Getting around is not fun. I did laundry last night and had to do it in pieces because I barely trust myself on the back gangway stairs in broad daylight wearing normal shoes, much less in the dark wearing a boot. I think I made six trips up and down those stairs last night and it wore me out. I keep wondering if the extra effort I have to put into such simple tasks like walking is burning extra calories.

And probably the worst part is I feel like I can't talk about anything but the boot. What it's like trying to get around in it. How I hope it doesn't snow before I'm done with it. How it's not a very good all-terrain boot. How no matter how hard I try, sometimes there just isn't a single comfortable position in which to sit while wearing it.

I apologize right now if boot talk dominates my conversation for the next 4.714 weeks.

So that's that. The ankle really hurts today, despite the three Advil I took before I left the house. But the sweat-absorbing socks they gave me to wear under it are both sparkly clean, thanks to the six trips up and down the stairs. I'm more optimistic some days, thinking, "Well, these are the cards I've been dealt for now, so let's make the best of it." Today is not an optimistic day. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.