The alarm goes off yet again, screaming. It’s not a bell or a song. It’s not even electronic. It’s in my head, under my skin. It yells anger, fear, irritation, and doom in fire red sirens. Every day the alarm sounds, no matter how many times I shut it off, slam it down, throw it across the room, mat, or freeway. I try covering my ears with my palms vice pressed against them, try squinting my eyes skin-swallowed inside shut, and try tensing my body blind from the sound, skin, and shaking–to no avail.
And then it’s gone. Quiet follows. Later, I can hear the soft gongs, smell the incense, feel the rubber under my toes, and breathe. But sometimes, too many times, my left foot won’t lift off the ground, my toes won’t dig themselves snug into my right thigh, and I can’t stand tall on one foot, balls of the feet gripping the axis of the earth. No balance. Off kilter.
Other days, I can kick up both feet off the ground, jettisoned by balls and big toes–left and right–and half-pipe myself slowly, silently cannoned through vast, airy nothingness before grounding earth in thud landing, shock-waved cement-gravity from toe to head.
I remember a couple of Bastille Days in France, one at Versailles with synchronized fireworks to Beethoven and Mozart like I had never delighted in as much before or after. I recall another one sardine sandwiched among Parisians at Trocadero, crazy packed and loud but joy-mad in celebration. And then there was today….
My heart breaks when the world’s horror intrudes. Another mass killing by a mad murderer. And we just live with the inevitability. Will they ever stop if we just continue as we do, seeking the perpetrators, the sources of the infection, wait their lunatic lords out and then strike them dead? We do get to them eventually, but a handful at a time when they scatter the planet like vermin. Yes, they live insanely, with lust for blood and hate, and perhaps we (the rest of the sane planet in habitants) have given them reason and perhaps not. They may just be walking under the zealot umbrella disguised as faithful when they simply lust for power, blood, self-expansion in the sickness of pure cold emptiness and disconnection so vast that nothing short of annihilation can make them feel anything.
Compassion for soulless killers grates at me. I want to feel it. There must be a way to forgive them their sick hearts, but I have not found it yet. I still wish they had never come to be in this lifetime. I wish they had been killed before they killed. And I cannot deny that.
No solace anywhere, not for victims or murderers. Grieve hard all of us, as we slip past the rifle scope.
Image: Wikipedia/Bastille Day