I have read a lot of dark, horror tales over the past few weeks. With the arbitrary made up date of the Mayan Apocalypse, I was going to give the blog an Apocalyptic tilt this week, featuring reviews of Post Apocalyptic novels each day. I will still do this, but I decided to take one day, and do something I never do. Write something that is not a review. Basically, I am taking the time to write out my rambling thoughts, I will post them here Monday, and not really do any promotion. You see, I don’t take many things seriously, I like to joke and downplay the emotions of almost any situation. I find a sort of comfort in inappropriate humor, and have friends that I fell comfortable with that know that about me. I was with a group of these friends Saturday, and it was what I needed. We didn’t even talk about anything substantial, just randomness. Just God, and language and goblins and Dr. Who and beer and our own history. Being able to talk and ramble and say things without judgment is a real release, and was perfect. Yet, just because I don’t take things seriously on the outside, I do spend a lot of time thinking and feeling, and sometimes the only way to truly deal with it is to sit down and write it out, in a free association type thing. This is what this is.
Friday was a horrible day. I think what happened Friday hit me harder than even 9/11. I think part of it was how I discovered what happened. 9/11, I was home asleep when my brother woke me up and told me we were under attack. At that point, I was in between jobs, and spent the entire day watching the news nonstop. Friday, I discovered the news on Twitter, I didn’t watch any news, and knew very few specifics. I was at work most of that day. Most of my work day is spent in school buildings, specifically in a school for kids with physical and mental disabilities. I have a great imagination, at times, and it can be a blessing and a curse. Each time I walked into a classroom, I had a hodgepodge of images in my head. I love the guys I work with, I have no kids of my own, but I have my friend Jimmy. I have my niece and nephews. I saw them in these classrooms. It was not an easy day,
I was recently asked why I love Zombie stories. There is so much bad in the world, why wouldn’t I want to escape through less horrific means. Personally, for me, what I love about Zombie tales is seeing the human reaction to the worst possible situations. Yes, it’s dark, morally questionable, full of horrific acts and brutal people, and that is why when you find those truly humanizing moments it stands out so much more. A candle in the daytime makes no difference, but at night it’s a shining beacon. This is what I try and take away when the horrors of everyday life hit our news. It’s the heroes and the innocent who truly shine in these times. Horror is a dark canvas where you can continue to slather on the dark paints, cluttering up the picture with moral murkiness. This does serve a purpose. You watch a show like The Walking Dead, and its darkness and death, and good people making bad choices, and it pulls you down into the murk. Yet, there are moments. The love between a couple. People putting themselves in harms way for a friend. Even the fight to survive. These are all truly humanizing moments. I live for these moments of light. When I find them among the darkest of dark, they are only more beautiful to me.
I want to remember the heroes. I want to have the image of a custodian who runs down the hallways warning everyone. I want to remember a little boy telling adults that he knew karate and would lead the way, because that was such a Jimmy moment, which for me is the purest form of goodness there is. I was angry Friday. I was angry not just about what happened. I was angry that right away it became a political debate about gun control, even though I agreed. I got angry when someone said that everyone should hug their children, and I got angry when the next person said that hugging your children won’t help. I got angry when someone tweeted something that wasn’t about what was happening, and I got angry when that was all anyone was talking about. I got angry when people offered prayers to a God that exists but still allows these things to happen. I got angry at myself for thinking that. I don’t want to remember the anger. I may need to, but I don’t want to. I want to remember the teachers who protected the children. I want to erase what happened from my brain. I don’t ever want to forget.
As I said, this really has no purpose. I am not trying to send a message, or make a point. This is more for me that anything. It’s just, when I think about this day, in ten, twenty, fifty years, I hope what I remember is the light, yet I fear what I remember is the darkness. Maybe, on that day, the future me will remember writing this, and seek it out. Maybe it will remind me of the good. Maybe.