Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tears

Maybe it's age..maybe it's just super sensitivity. maybe..I'm just tired...

but I keep finding myself teary-eyed this evening.

It started last week. I went to the laundromat (our washer is broke again). I brought a book..

Then? Some of the Club kids spotted me. They introduced me to their dog. They told me their grades. They helped me put clothes in the washer...and then another Club kid -a graduating senior-joins us to discuss his plans to join the air-force. As we were sorting clothes and coins, I notice two children at the vending machine.

One boy, one girl. These children are younger than the Club kids. More pre-school/kindergarten aged.

The younger of the two..a little girl.. catches my eye. She comes over to join the growing laundry party. She shows us her mosquito bites.  Her mouth is covered in candy residue. She is hungering for human interaction..and upon closer examination..I notice she has rat or roach droppings in her hair. Shortly her brother comes over also (mom has left to her truck to talk on cell phone). He assures me he is a good boy and a good clothes folder.

I want to cry.

I wish these kids were old enough to go to the Club.

They are not.

And I am reminded, once again, of the ripple effects that often come with rural poverty. We visit (these mysterious kids and I) as they help me with my laundry until I have to go.

This girl and her brother have been lingering in my mind this past week.It would be safe to say they are haunting my mind.

Then today? I am working on this BIG grant for a local non-profit, when I receive a call from Big B. He  asks in a strange voice if I have talked to Brian-Scott.

Immediately my heart starts pounding What do you mean? Is something wrong?

Oh no. Big B responds..I just thought you would have heard about the shooting and be worried.

What shooting?

The one at UT..at the library.

That is all I heard. The library is home away from home for Brian and Angee. We (friends, family, themselves) make fun of them often for the amount of time they spend at the library.  

My head begins racing. I want to cry.  Big B must have heard the panic rising in my thoughts. He's okay.

How do you know? How about Angee? How about their friends? What happened?

He embellishes me with what he knows about the shooting on the UTAustin campus and assures me that as far as he knows..no one has been killed other than the shooter.

I am relieved. I call Brian-Scott.

He assures me he is fine. They are on lock-down..expected to be off soon..and  he was asleep in his own bed through the entire thing! Oh..he says..and I called grandma to let her know I'm okay. I thought they might be worried.

It is not until later in the day that I learn that this boy who committed suicide is a 19 year old math major. I think of the boy. I wonder about his family. How are they tonight? I remember the children at the laundromat..and I cry.

Later I speak to Brian-Scott again. I wonder if they knew this boy..and if so..how are they feeling.
No..he says..I checked my class roster..I don't recognize the name. Angee does not either. They say their friends do not either...and I wonder about this boy and friends. Was he lonely? Was he angry? Suicide is always difficult to process. I cry again for this boy.

Now..I am treating myself to a break from dinner. We are eating breakfast for dinner here on the homefront.

Tomorrow (Wednesday) I take Levi to my parents house..and try to wrap up this grant.

Thursday I leave for the Mills Reunion. Friday hanging out specifically with fellow Reinhardt roomies. (the dorm I lived in a zillion years ago). Saturday..we return to Texas. It will be a quick trip so we can go back to prison on Sunday. (barring no paper-work glitches, etc.) and then dinner for the birthday of a family friend Sunday night.

So maybe..just maybe..I am letting myself be sentimental and teary..because I have the time to do so.

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