First Sentence photograph
First Sentences,  Random Ramblings

This wasn’t supposed to be a depressing blog post

But sometimes words don’t flow the way I want them to

I remember where I was when I heard about the Columbine shooting. I remember the school I was attending, the class I was in, and the teacher who stopped the day’s lesson to take a call carrying the tragic news. In the following years there have been numerous mass shootings, in an elementary school, a movie theater, a concert, and so many other places. I remember where I was when I heard about some of them, but not most. That, as much as anything, is a sign of how common they’ve become.

I don’t know what mass shooting ‘inspired’ this First Sentence and it’s not something I’m choosing to Google at the moment. I’m a little more interested in a word that would be more appropriate than ‘inspired’, a word that is about the catalyst that leads to a creative idea but without the positive connotation. Not because such a word is more important than this life-shattering violence, but because the search for words is something I can control. There are online searches, dictionaries, thesauruses, friends to ask, but there are no easy solutions in a country that seems so unwilling to sit down and have civilized discourse about how to solve our problems.

Written on 2/1/2013 and updated today:

I’m on the floor when I come out of my trance, halfway between the refrigerator and the table. Cold moisture seeps through my sweater and the back of my bra. It takes a few blinks to remember the water I was drinking when the vision struck.

I sit up, grab the plastic cup I dropped, then jump to my feet. It’s 5:03pm. I have 42 minutes to get across town, warn as many people as I can, and try to stop an enraged gunman from killing a bunch of innocent mall-goers.

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