It has taken me awhile to say anything about the Orlando shooting. Mostly because I only feel sadness. I can find the words for things like pain, depression, happiness, and joy but sadness isn’t one of those I find easy to wordify.
There were many weekend nights I would go dancing at a local gay club with my beautiful gay friends. I was safe with them. A girl could dance and not worry so much about being roofied or fondled inappropriately. A girl could just dance and have fun.
One problem with having empathy is that when tragedy strikes you can easily put yourself in someone else’s shoes. If you watch the news and see the faces of the victims, hear the victim’s mothers, see the details of the assault then you have just guaranteed a few nights of intense mourning for people you have never met. You replace their faces with those faces you do know and you grieve their loss as if it is your own friend, sister, brother, parent.
When something tragic happens I end up being there. And I can’t help wonder… what if it had been me? What would I say if I could?
I don’t think I can write about the sadness I feel but instead I wrote as if I were one of the victims. I feel sorrow for those who lost their lives and for the many more who witnessed the tragedy first hand. I mourn for the friendships ended and for the parents of those who were killed.
I am not sure how long I stood there before details began to surface.
One moment music was bouncing off the walls and zigzagging its way through sweaty hair, running mascara, and swaying hips and the next only screaming. Fear. Pain.
I’d like to say that everyone survived that night. I would like to say we all left and got 2am taco bell. That some of us had to stop off and pee in the grass, or puke. I would do anything to have a friend laugh at me for looking like a zombie bride after dancing like the world would never end.
Remember all the nights we drank a bit too much and felt like everything was worth fighting about? All the mornings we woke up laughing at all the ridiculous and stupid things we did the night before? All the new friendships made hanging out at the club and talking way too loud to be heard over the music.
Who comes in and just starts shooting people? What kind of person? I really want to know. Is it really as simple as hate? Hate comes from somewhere. People say it is easy to hate and hard to love but I don’t get that. They both take work. You have to fuel passions like that with something.
I think he wasn’t listened too. Maybe nobody ever took him seriously. He was perhaps bullied, ignored, abused, or simply unnoticed. Or maybe he was just an asshole. A selfish asshole who didn’t care about anything other than his own feelings and thoughts.
I am not sure how long I stood there before details began to surface but it didn’t matter. People died. People died because one person decided he was more important. His cause, his anger, his desire, his hate was more important. And those people will always be dead. I will always be dead.