I haven’t written in about a week, except for a couple of notes here and they’re on my Armageddon story—which with December 21 looming is quite fitting.
It’s part Christmas, part exhaustion—because its the holiday season and work is stressful, partly because I’m behind in my shopping.
And yesterday, we had a Northwest tragedy. I cried when I heard. And just for the record, I’m not a crier. I didn’t sob or wail, tears of silence and shock simply slid down my cheeks.
If you don’t know, I’ll share. Yesterday (or eighteen hours ago when you’re reading this) a gunman went into Clackamas Town Center in Oregon and opened fire. Two shoppers were killed and one seriously injured before the gunman took his own life.
Clackamas Town Center is my favorite place to shop and it has been since they opened back in the early eighties. My sister and I used to go over just for Square Pan Pizza. Just for lunch. We’d hit hwy 205 and sail on over—cruising like 75 because 205 was so new and nobody took advantage of it back then—and get there within 15-18 minutes.
Now, because of traffic, it takes between 20-30 minutes depending on the time of day. But it’s still worth it—even if Square Pan Pizza is long gone. They have a two-story Barnes and Noble, a Disney store and just a festive atmosphere. They have big koi fish in a fountain/pond in the center of the mall. They also have one of Jordan’s favorite restaurants, Noodle and Co. So, every few weeks, on my day off, Jordan and I head over. Just for lunch. Thankfully, yesterday—while my day off—was not one of those days.
You know, living in the Portland metro area most of my life, I’ve come to accept the everyday crime. Shoplifters, check. Gang members, don’t meet their gaze. Check. Tonya Harding, check. Possible grow house just down the block. Check.
But then there comes along something so heinous that it affects an entire community—tens of housands and thousands of people—and you can’t fall asleep that night. You think of the victims, the people fleeing the gunshots, and what could have been if your day had gone another way.
We lost our innocence twenty-three years ago when a serial killer stalked our streets and took our children. Last night we lost our innocence again. Unfortunately, it probably won’t be the last time.
And that’s the saddest fact of all.