It is 9:19 a.m. as I write these words. I know that they will take me approximately 20 to 25 minutes, after I get done with the bolding, italics and links. A part of me would like to think that at some point between now and then, the world will change. Even as I write these words, peoples minds are changing, perspectives are shifting, enemies are suddenly inspired to become friends, and the Adam Lanzas of the world have decided to seek purpose in purpose, instead of infamy.
It is 9:23 a.m. Exactly one cycle of the sun ago right now, a disturbed kid on the verge of history, knowing he is, walks into his mother’s bedroom. She never sees the black clothing, or the olive-green utility vest full of ammunition. She doesn’t wake as her son, whom she had taught to shoot, and in whom she had instilled both a love of guns and the ethos “live free or die,” put four rounds into her head. They find her later, a decapitated horror in comfortable, fleece pajamas.
It is 9:28 a.m. He’s at the point of no return. I imagine him as, just now, coming around the corner to see the building where he will kill his way into history. In his mind, he hears the screams, sees the sites of his mother’s AR-15 line up with living forms as they did in the video games he played. I imagine he hesitates for just a moment, making sure that nobody sees him has he walks to the building. He cocks his head while looking through the window. It is 9:33 a.m. — Adam Lanza opens fire at the glass, and a nightmare begins, right now.
I can’t bring myself to think about what happens in the next few minutes: the horror, the unreality of it. It’s hard to think about the death of such innocence, not only in the bloody rag dolls that were moments before creatures of hope and happiness, but in the demons that will forever haunt those who saw it happen. I try to think about the Mothers Demand Action protest in Texas — the one countered by a group of Second Amendment thugs. I’m trying to think about what Bill Moyrers talks about in this video. But all I can see in my mind are the guns they’re carrying the very same —
— AR-15 that swings from child to child. They’re huddled, piled in the corner of a classroom. Some scream, some try to play dead as the bullets explode through their young flesh. Their dreams are gone forever, carried away on the bullets that “preserve our way of life,” and ” keep us free from tyranny.”
It is 9:40 a.m. as I write this. To the best of my knowledge, this is still our way of life. I’m watching the news right now, and there have been no reports of beams from the Heavens, no sudden joining of hands. The cold and dead remain cold and dead, and the warm and alive are still waiting for their turn. The “tyranny” is still us…it’s our fear of fear.
It is 9:43 a.m. on December 14th, 2013. One year ago right now, the light faded from a child’s eyes. One question cried, then spoke, then whispered to silence in her mind. It is the same question we still ask, even as we remember her in silence.