Sunday, June 12, 2016

A Pocket Protector

Yes, that's a pocket protector. It's on the windowsill in my mother's kitchen. Those are indeed pens and pencils in that pocket protector.

Not very highbrow stuff, is it? I mean, there is likely zero interest to any of you about a pocket protector and a few writing utensils.

Some really bad stuff happened in the wee hours of this morning in a place full of joy and excess: Orlando, FL.

There is a club there called Pulse. It's billed as a gay club, and that's relevant, sadly. Early this morning, a man walked in and essentially executed 50 people.

Out of what is now being called the worst mass shooting in US history, we are getting the usual rhetoric. People are angry and, in this Presidential election year, going to social media to let loose.

To which I say no. Hell, no. Not today.

Oh I reacted also. I read things and then I sat down and wrote, quite honestly, one of the angriest posts in the nearly 10-year history of this blog.

Yet I keep coming back to the same thing: not today.

But I get it. I really do. You're mad and disgusted.

You're angry. Horrified.

Fifty. More injured.

It seems like it is a form of terrorism. Is it because it was a gay nightclub? ISIS? Some other group? Just random hatred? All of the above? None of the above?

At the moment, it's not important.

Again, fifty are dead. At least that's the report.

We know nothing, but we think we know it all.

We don't.

Fifty. At last count.

Leave politics out of it today. I don't care if you're proud you voted for Chris Murphy, if Trump sucks, if it's Obama's fault, if you're a Tea Party member, or if you want to somehow go back and lay it at the feet of George Washington.

Right now, I'm thinking that fifty families aren't concerned about the politics of it all .

Not yet. There will be plenty of time for that.

But. Not. Today.

Think of Mina Justice, whose son Eddie was there, and according to the Associated Press:
He told her he ran into a bathroom with other club patrons to hide. He then texted her: "He's coming." 
"The next text said: 'He has us, and he's in here with us,'" she said. "That was the last conversation."
I don't think politics are on her mind.

UPDATE: Per the list of victims from the City of Orlando website, Eddie Justice has died. He was 30 years old.

Friends (I'd like to believe I can call you that), today is not about you. It's about those in Pulse Nightclub in Florida.

A gay nightclub.

Where 50 people died this morning.


Focus on that.

So we're back to the pocket protector. It's still not making any sense to you, is it? You see, that pocket protector was likely last used in early 1989. Those pencils and pens no doubt worked off some kind of paperwork from a plumbing supply company in Yonkers.

My mom put those out just recently. They belonged to my father.

I'd rather look at a dirty old pocket protector then think about politics or gun control right now.

It's a terribly sad day in our country, and I don't say that to be trite. We've seen bad things in recent years, and sadly we've become immune to it until we realize it's worse than normal. Then we go into either blatant phony outrage, or "thoughts and prayers."

It's all about "me me me."


Not today.

Reflect. Pause. Tell someone you love them. I just did, simply because we never know.

Think about those fifty people.

Or find a pocket protector that makes you smile.

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