03 march 2000 | back | archive | forward | girl | sign | e-mail

first of all, i am devastated. a child should only worry about having to come home when it's dark or missing his favorite tv show. a child should not die at age 6. or 13. or even 17. people die every day. people die every hour of every day. you only hear some stories, but there are so many out there, it's unreal. unreal.

when i interned at a newspaper in portland, oregon, i had to cover the cop beat for three weeks. undoubtedly three of the worst weeks of my life. for the first few days, i sat by the radio, in astonishment, listening to all the cop/fire/ambulance calls. one after the other after the other. fire here. injury there. accident fire injury death death death. death.

i couldn't handle it. one person's death amounted to a few paragraphs of copy. one person's life reduced to name, age, city of residence and next of kin. what made one story an A-1 and another not even worth noticing? who was i to put value on -- or worse, to take away value from -- their lives? who were we? just a bunch of people with journalism degrees (which is good for writing concise paragraphs the shape of an inverted pyramid) who thought we were pursuing something as high and mighty as The Truth with two capital Ts.

the truth, i found, was that sometimes it's none of our fucking business.

and then something like this happens, and everyone nods their heads in disbelief and says, "it's sad, so sad," and are just so shocked, like how could this happen? how on earth could this happen? and i think to myself, it just did. stop thinking it's so impossible, because it just did. and it happens all the time: it happened a second ago, and it will happen at noon, and it will happen over and over again.

your kids are having sex. your husband really did sleep with another woman. your son is gay. your daughter is anorexic. your cousin is a drug addict. and i know, i know how empty and lonely and cold and afraid you feel. i know.

so just deal with it, already. deal with it. don't blame anyone. don't pretend it's not happening. don't stuff it in a shoebox and hide it under your bed.

educate. sacrifice. accept. volunteer. pray. love.

of course i say this, with my usual rhythm and repitition, with paragraphs packed with conviction. i say it knowing full well that sometimes i myself can't deal with it. it makes me so horribly sad, i can't handle it. and i just contradicted myself, did you notice? because it makes sense and seems so easy in one paragraph but in the next i just realize how utterly ridiculous it all is.

fridays, at least, are a very good thing. and chocolate, i am really enjoying chocolate these days. and hair cuts, which i am getting saturday.

the walls are thin, and they're always having sex.

volumes, a very clean, simple and poignant site filled with writings by a boy named david.

"there's just so much i want to say." -- jack.

it's 12:12am.