Oppressive waves crash on shoulders, pushing them down into an already roiling stomach. Small explosions follow each tears descent from pools ringing crimson eyes. The barren desk, spread out before me, enforces the solitude of my heart, as bile burns caustic fumes with each breath.
Something is wrong. I don't know what. I need to go home and figure it out.
Cold air washes out of the air condition vents, my pores soak drink deeply it's cooling embrace. Released from work, my vacant stare surveys the black expanse of the parking lot, searching for answers to questions I don't know to ask. Absent fingers find the radio, to drive away the silence.
There has been a shooting in Blacksburg this morning, on the campus of Virginia Tech. We are awaiting the details...
Clangering vibrations of the phone break my meditation, words trickle out giving clarity to my inner turmoil. A direction, a purpose, pulls me down the highway toward flashing lights and shell shocked wanderers. Under trees, sitting on curbs, crying with candles littering the drill field; we find them. Offering pizza, an ear, a shoulder, a hug.
Why are you here? Because I am supposed to be.
Peace and strength return, amid the surreality of life. The next several days after the attack, strangers and survivors walk down sidewalks between the lamp posts. Sitting on the drill field, around a guitar, we sing, not knowing what else to do. Just being, together, as we face tomorrow.
Was it their pain that drew me here before I even knew that morning in April?
Disaster has a way of bringing out the compassion in all of us, awakening in our hearts a love for our fellow man. A mosaic of people, helping people. Why wait for the next one?