AURORA, Colo.—I really don’t wanna write about this. I don’t wanna be another over-sharing writer pouring out his heart for the sake of pageviews, clickthroughs or even letters to the editor.
(And, quite frankly, I don’t wanna care about things that suddenly seem so trivial by comparison.)
I’d rather not fall back into the role of a self-righteous journalist exploiting this senseless horror with barely contained empathy as I relay another sad story—whether it’s a survivor’s or my own.
And we don’t need to let this descend into politics—we need to come together, not push each other away. (If the candidates can do it, why can’t we?)
I really don’t wanna give that kid any more ink (or pixels) than he’s already stolen.
I don’t want chills crawling down my back from another angry reader email, whose line-crossing, profanity-laced tirade dropped onto my computer the day after the bloodshed. (I happen to like arguing with readers.)
And I don’t even wanna talk about the wounded couple who managed to get out alive. She gave birth the same day he – dazed and confused—appeared in court. He remains in a coma in ICU. Word is the medical tab’s already sailed past $2 million. And, of course, they don’t have health insurance.
I guess the bottom line here is that, yeah, I write for a living. And I’m a news junkie. This should be a no-brainer, a layup, for someone like me. But I just can’t do it. It’s too close, too soon and just too damn real. (Besides, you should see how often I choke on layups.)
I’m mad as hell. Heartbroken. And suddenly more than a little bit worried about my kids.
Charlie Chaplin once said, “Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot.”
Well, I’m ready to pan back.
I’m ready to move on. (And, yeah, I know it’s easy for me to say.) But it’s tough driving by the news trucks at the courthouse every day—which happens to be right next door to our office here. Or listening to the radio. It’s everywhere. It’s overtaken our summer and that’s probably just the beginning.
What I’d like to do is give blood. Go see a movie. Watch some football. And never stop hugging my little girl—even after she pats me on the back and starts squirming away. I’m ready to shake this haze. I’m ready to live.
And I’m not the only one. I’d like to be the first to give a big shout out to Nathan James McGirl, the newest member of the Benefits Selling extended family, and our very own Jenn McGirl’s newest addition. Thanks for reminding us we have to keep going.