From the August 11 Sierra Vista Herald, our local paper:
…the shooting is the most recent in a spat [sic: should be “spate”] of violent crimes in and around Sierra Vista, beginning with the arrest of Usef Simmons, 23, after police said he broke into a home and attacked a man with a rock…the next couple days saw the arrest of Nathaniel Jaramillo, 22, after police said he opened fire on a vehicle with two occupants outside a party…on July 24, Theodore Ramos, 17, slashed the throat of a 76-year old man, killing him, after the man answered the door at his home, then proceeded to rape the victim’s 72-year-old wife….two men were killed after being stabbed to death at a party outside of town…citizens should be wary of bears and other wildlife displaced by the Monument fire…law seeks crackdown on bullying but some see the changes too intrusive…cops avoid meth busts because they can no longer afford to clean up toxic waste generated by labs after federal government cancelled programs that provide money to help local agencies dispose of seized labs….
And this is just my little town. The rest of the world? Too depressing to discuss here—but trust me, it’s coming to your town too.
So when people tell me to just be happy, think positive, see the good, meditate, pray—I nod my head and say, uh, OK. I envy those who can zone out for 12 hours in front of a video game or remain oblivious to the future as if it won’t affect them. They are happy and I am not. Someone explained the Facebook game “Farmville” to me the other day and I can’t believe “adults” are playing this, as it sounds like something preschoolers might enjoy. If you want to feed animals so much, why don’t you go volunteer at a shelter? Adopt a cat or dog? I don’t understand how people can not be affected by our world, though I am constantly being told I need to get over it. This is my world too. I can’t become politically correct or stick my head in the sand just because that’s the trend.
Was it only a few years ago I loved thrift shops? Perfume, earrings, makeup, nail polish, shoes? I can’t even remember that last time I went into a Dollar Store, much less a mall, movie theater, or restaurant. My life is focused on keeping the power on and the water running. I never pay anything until I get a shut-off notice. Animal adoptions are way down, practically nonexistent. Hanging onto our homes is our main concern—a million foreclosures in the US last year should be a clear sign how fragile our infrastructure is.
A new word just went into the dictionary I sometimes work on, “swirlie.” A prank that involves dunking someone’s head in a flushing toilet bowl. A PRANK? Is bullying so commonplace now that we consider this a mere prank? This is the kind of stuff that makes kids jump off bridges. How accepting we have become to violence and abuse. Another day, another war—whether personal or political, it’s the new normal.
If you answer your door without a gun within your reach, then do so at your own risk.