And then Jesus said "Let there be pestilence and barfing! Lo! But there will be barfing! Verily, avast, the barfing shall be put forth all over the hallway, not two feet from ye olde commode."
But not before He commanded Great volumes of plastic and paper, croissants, orange juice and miniature chocolates inexplicably in the form of a fat man of mysterious Dutch origin known forth as SinterKlaas.
Happy birthday, Jesus. Hope you got everything you ever wanted because I sure did.
I'm a freshman at San Diego State and every weekend I drive up to Encinitas where Bryan is living in an apartment with a roommate who has a pillow airbrushed with tits. Bryan surfs while I sit on the beach. We drink. Fight. We are so young and tight but feel grown up. I drive my maroon Volkswagen Cabriolet way too fast on the freeway singing along to this song feeling like my mouth curves just like Christy's or Linda's, angling my jaw like they do in the video. On the weekends I do go-sees and watch House of Style and sketch clothes. I don't know it yet, but I am really unhappy.
Not sure what made me think of this song tonight but I did, and listening to it I am right back there as I mouth the words and feel hot and simple, my only worry that Bryan didn't call me back.
God, I love this song. Almost makes me want to put on shorts with tights and a belt, a unitard, a choker, ankle boots. Instead I think I will listen to it in my car this weekend, mouthing along like Christy and Linda, two carseats in the back.
Surely I am not the only one feeling fragile lately, the need for kindness so great I smile at pigeons. So when Zoey sat down tonight and made this card for her first grade teacher I nearly wept--not cried, but wept--a feeling so raw it belongs among statues.
They had a holiday party at school today and were allowed to bring in their favorite stuffed animal. Her teacher brought in her childhood bear, old enough that it had stitches which seemed to fascinate Zoey.
Translation: Dear Ms. Cozza, I love you. Have a Merry Christmas. Love, Zoey. Then the bear is saying (starting backward): I will love you for the rest of my life. On the other side: Special.
Which. Just. Yes. Thank you to all of the teachers that take care of our children and make them feel safe and loved and special.
Rolling in seasonal sap as if it were armor of some kind,
This will not be a well-written post. Nor will it be pretty. There will be no pictures.
We got a message from Zoey's principal that there will be a drill on Tuesday. And the principal doesn't call to tell parents about fire drills or earthquake drills. He said that the staff will not mention the Connecticut school shooting, but that there will be a drill.
A fucking drill.
I am so fucking angry. Not at the principal or her school, but at the very fact that there has to be a drill. And that I have to tell Zoey something about what happened so she doesn't hear about it from someone else. So tonight I told her. Tried to say it lightly, as if such things can be said without wanting to fucking tear at my throat. And when I told her, she asked if the kids died, and I said yes, some of them did, and she said that if something like that happens at her school she will kick the bad guy in the weenie, so there is no need to have a drill. I hugged her and said not to worry about it, that there is nothing to worry about because I am doing everything I can to make sure the bad guys don't have guns and that she is safe.
As if it were that simple.
Fuck. That's what I keep coming back to. Fuck.
Like so many people, I have been completely shattered by this, as if everything around me is totally fucking broken. It wasn't until I told Zoey about it that I realized I don't have the luxury of feeling broken. Because I have to make this right by my kids, make it whole and right and, in my own way from 3,000 miles away, I have to honor those kids that died.
Which is why I promised Zoey I would do everything I could to make sure the bad guys don't have guns. Oh, I know this is simplified, but what's the alternative? Sitting around feeling sad? Clearly that's not working and hopeless inaction is no longer acceptable.
Instead I am taking action. Like I said, this is not a well-written post. Instead it is a fucking drill. Here is what we need to do:
And though I will never give that evil fuck shooter the (albeit infinitesimally small) glory of printing his name (I hate how the news gives him so much space), I do recognize that something needs to be done regarding how we treat the mentally ill. Can anyone point me to a good article, website or something...I don't even know where to start. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
UPDATE: Aha! My sister-in-law told me about Laura's Law. Read about it here and here.
For that matter, any ideas on how else to support gun control and/or how to help the victims' families...please leave them in the comments.
My soul iscrushed from what happened in Connecticut yesterday, and I don't quite know how anything goes on from here. Pure evil. Of all the news reports--and I'm afraid to say I've become a bit obsessive in reading and watching all the coverage--by far the best journalism comes from The Onion, so I straight up pasted it below for you to read...
Fuck Everything, Nation Reports
December 14, 2012
WASHINGTON—Following the fatal shooting this morning at a
Connecticut elementary school that left at least 27 dead, including 20
small children, sources across the nation shook their heads, stifled a
sob in their voices, and reported fuck everything. Just fuck it all to
All of it, sources added.
“I’m sorry, but fuck it, I can’t handle this—I just can’t handle it
anymore,” said Deborah McEllis, who added that “no, no, no, no, no, this
isn’t happening, this can’t be real.” “Seriously, what the hell is
this? What’s even going on anymore? Why do things like this keep
Continued McEllis, before covering her face with her hands, “Why?”
Despairing sources confirmed that the gunman, armed with a semiautomatic assault rifle—a fucking combat rifle, Jesus—walked into a classroom full of goddamned children
where his mother was a teacher and, good God, if this is what the world
is becoming, then how about we just pack it in and fucking give up,
because this is no way to live.
I mean, honestly, all 315 million Americans confirmed.
“Well, I suppose we have to try to pick up the pieces and make some
sort of sense of this tragedy and—you know what? Fuck it, I can’t do
this,” said Connecticut resident Michael Zaleski, his remarks
understandable given the circumstances, because, holy shit, what else
can one say? “I’m sorry, but I can’t fucking do this. Can you? Can
Witnesses said the gunman fired at least 100 rounds during his deadly
rampage, which, according to children in the school—goddamnit, how?
How? Twenty children. Dead. In a fucking school.
No. No, no, no.
“I just feel so [why does it even matter what this person said when
no words can bring 20 dead kids back to life?]” said some person who,
just like everyone else, is completely unable to process or handle any
of this. “It’s awful. Just too awful to bear.”
Americans reported feelings of overwhelming disgust with whatever
abhorrent bastard did this and with the world at large for ever allowing
it to happen, as well as with politicians, with the NRA, and above all
with their own pathetic goddamn selves, sitting in front of a fucking
computer instead of doing fucking anything to help anyone—Christ,
as if that were even fucking possible, as if anyone could change what
happened, as if the same fucking bullshit isn’t going to keep happening
again and again and fucking again before people finally decide it’s time
to change the way we live, so what’s the point? What the hell is the
“I…” said Tom Miller, 27, after reading an article about the tragedy online. “I just…”
“…” he added.
At press time…screw it, there’s nothing else to say.
These are the things they push into my hands: colorful straws and Barbie shoes, cereal bar wrappers, bites of apple and stones, most of them irregular, some shaped vaguely like hearts. Hold this, they say, my palms the place for things they think worth saving. And so it is that later while waiting for the bus I pull sticks from my purse, pieces of somewhere else, poke at the tips of broken toys hidden in my pockets while at work, the other side of me pushed down like that.
The things they place into my palms are at times based on necessity, hair ties, a booger; other times by something needier, the placing of it at once blurry and wet, frantic. They place things into my hands that I cannot hold on to, trust, milk and the weight of their everything. How I want to swallow it all, push every last rock that they ask me to hold deep into my mouth so that I won't someday lose it.
(Have you ever had a book follow you around? Years after, you still find yourself seeing the words? That's how I've been with The Things They Carried now for over a decade. Here is where I wrote about it four years ago. This post is yet another inspired by Tim O'Brien.)
It is not really real until I get there, although I love the smell of real cold. In the morning it begins to snow and I sit at the foot of my cousin Tess's bed and advise her to draw penises in the margins of her eulogy so she doesn't break down. I can't stop looking out the window at the snow falling and think that this is the first time in a long time that I see Tess and there are no photo booths with props, the last decade filled with weddings.
At the church I want to take pictures, it is so beautiful, but I don't want to be disrespectful. Instead I crack jokes with my brilliant cousin Oliver because the family is told to gather in The Pusey Room before and after the service, named after a former president and benefactor of Harvard. Everyone cries in The Pusey Room, we whisper to each other, it all begins and ends in The Pusey Room, twirling myself around to read the gold inlaid quote about education, my head spinning with the infinite possibilities of the name.
The organist plays fugues, Wagner, people read Mary Oliver and speak. At the end there are military honors, a 3 gun salute; I am stunned by how powerful it is. The exact way the impossibly young marines turn on their heels, fold the flag...how the marine on the far left fumbles with the corner for a few minutes and I feel bad for him...turning the corners in and in again. And then a marine from outside marches in to slip the shell casings inside the tight triangle of flag, a slow, measured, heavy salute, and we are all sobbing.
The reception is held at The Harvard Museum of Natural History. I wonder if it is too late for me to do something extraordinary enough that people will gather there to remember me. Probably, though I wonder if maybe just having a few stuffed tigers at my memorial would suffice. I guesstimate that the average IQ of the crowd is 135.
There are boards with photos, and I fall in love with this one of a paleontological dig at a Crow Indian reservation in the 70's. There is my dad in the back with the rifle, my uncle seated in the front, on the far left my step-dad is holding a machete. I know I will never be as cool as these men.
Later, my dad tells us stories. The time he was jailed for murder in Africa (didn't do it), took acid on ice floes in Greenland, how when he was 15 and my uncle 18 they drove cross country in my uncle's Jaguar and camped on the very edge of the Grand Canyon because you could do that in 1957 at 15 years old, I guess. How they met some leathery traveler and spent the night smoking Lucky Strikes and listening to the man's stories, how in the morning they woke up to find a carved stick stabbed into the dirt with a note attached that just said Adios Amigos, John. They took the stick and named it the Amigo John Stick, gave it to their younger brother Andy who later died at 40.
My dad finds the Amigo John Stick in my uncle's study and takes it home with him.
On the flight home the woman next to me chews gum with her mouth open for 6 hours straight. 6 hours straight of it sounding as if someone is eating a banana in my ear, and I think about how strange it is that I am not able to tell her to please close her mouth but totally able to punch her in the face. Instead I swipe my card to buy Direct TV, put on headphones and watch Real Housewives of Atlanta all the way home.
Hi, I'm Susannah and I love shiny things, swimming, the smell of fresh cut grass, orange blossoms and horse shit. The feel of my children's eyelashes on my cheek is a live virus that grows in me, multiplies and sustains. I will never understand Amish Friendship Bread.
I write for love but money works, too. Email me for more info, or just to say hello.