I turned on my television. A reporter announced that there had been a school shooting at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte campus.
The TV showed scenes from a nightmare. Paramedics. People on stretchers. Police cruisers. The reporter said that two people were killed, four had been injured.
I didn’t mean to, but I started crying. It just sort of happened. You can’t control these things.
My dog began scratching the door to go outside. So I wiped my face and took her for a walk to help clear my head.
The sun was lowering, the sky was orange, the clouds were perfect. And I started thinking about the devastated students in Charlotte.
They were children, young adults, teachers, adjunct professors, and custodians. Some of the students might have been sitting in their classrooms daydreaming about the same things I once thought about in college.
Maybe they wondered if they would pass algebra. Maybe they wondered if the blonde in social science class ever noticed them. Perhaps they wondered why professors
go to the trouble of printing syllabuses when nobody reads them.
Then. All hell broke loose.
The thought made me cry again. “Get a hold of yourself,” I whispered. “You’re turning into an old woman.”
That’s when I saw my neighbor’s children, playing in the street. A girl knelt on a skateboard, dressed as Batman. She had the mask and everything. Her brother was rolling her on the pavement.
The girl threw her arms outward, her cape waved behind her. They wore smiles bright enough to set the woods on fire.
I doubted that these children had any idea about what happened today in Charlotte. Thankfully.
The little girl whizzed by.
“I’m flying!” she screamed. “Can you see me?”
“I see you!” her brother shouted. “You’re doing it!”
It was sweet enough to bring a tear to a glass eye.…