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April 20, 1999
a year ago

A Day

Today taught me that days really can't be written up, whole, until it's completely over.

I heard a lot about the Columbine insanity at work. Partially from folks on-line, partially just in the break room, partially from peering at the CNN site after being told what might be going on. But it really didn't hit me until I got home and turned on the TV.

Since it was local, it was all over every channel. All the news programs had nothing but that in them. It was kinda crazy, because there really wasn't any real way of escaping the details as they unfolded. The worst school shooting in the history of the U.S.. What hit me worst was finding out that fifteen of the twenty-five fatalities were kids in the library and how they were killed. I remember spending lot of lunches in the library at my high school. Though, admittedly, there were tactical reasons they didn't get away, as their library was on the second floor and at the end of the building. I still, oddly enough, remember all four other exits, two hidden, from the library at my high school.

What's really odd is what happened inside as I was hearing all this. Locally, also, the Colorado state legislature has made it easier to get a concealed weapons permit. There was some part of me that just was raging and really felt that if something like this random violence ever happened around me, I'd want something to stop it. I want to be well enough trained and well enough equiped that if anyone were to try and hunt me down, they'd get a surprise they'd never expect. No, no heroics for me, I'd likely run away if given the opportunity and call the police, given the opportunity, but if someone made it a point to cut away all my opportunities...

That's what some part of me really needs to do. I'm not sure if I'll actually do much about it; but there's some seed planted at the heart of me.

The day itself was pretty plain. The little things that happen everyday to get to work, do stuff, make progress, eat bag lunches, get home. Dinner was burritos.

The little, electronic pikachu got to a million steps last night, after 3355 hours of having it on, and it just stopped dead in its tracks. It saddened me, as all it does now is tell me that it got to a million steps, plays a little tune, then tells me how many hours it took. To go any futher, I'll probably have to reset it, then it'll just do all the things it's been doing all along all over again. Grand piano playing, bath taking, remote car driving, swimming with the fishes, all the little stuff. But I've seen it all, so I'm not sure I want to do that all again. Five months of walking around with a little yellow pedometer strapped to my waist really isn't something I want to do again.

Though it was a good indication of whether or not I got enough exercise any one day, and yesterday John and I walked from work to the Post Office, just to have the walk in the hot sunshine. The sun was a presense that made my black t-shirt so hot it was nearly uncomfortable; but the walking path near work was shaded by trees and meandered under a bridge to do the crossing of the really busy 55th. The bridge was over a creek that gurgled clear and clean and I wondered if we should bring Fezzik there for fun, sometime. It was, altogether about a 25 minute walk, that upped the heart rate, the breathing, and it felt really good to do in the warmth of the sunshine.

After dinner, I reread Stephen Donaldson's Unworthy of the Angel and was struck by the intensity of his short works, again. Even in the forward to the book, Daughter of Regals and Other Tales, he, himself, says that short stories are intense works, every word has to go to the point, whereas novels have the author just throwing words, haphazard, in great piles at the reader. It's very much the way he seems to write novels. And I have to say that that's why I've always disliked his novels. His short stories are filled with sharp, distinct images, filled with all the senses, and with clearcut phrases that stick in the memory. Admittedly, his short story style would likely burn out if he did that for a whole novel.

The main reason I was re-reading it was 'cause Genevieve quoted a quote from it during the day that was that kind of vivid.

Okay, the other reason I was re-reading it was simply that I found the book when John put up all the book shelves and we put up about 600 shelf feet of books. Yeah... it boggled my brain too, and reminded me of the guys moving the books in from the van, "You guys have a ton of books." and my thinking that it was likely a literal statement.

So I dreamed three dreams during the night. One sad and sordid, one sharp and angry, and one about settling a heavy duty shed and a 1000 yards of stables into a farm lot. The sharp and angry one had to do with being a bodyguard for a teenage girl, who had with her two obviously older and very obviously vampiric sisters. At one point there was a force coming that, between the sisters and I, we decided that I'd best divert while they got their sister off to safety. I was left, alone and angry because I was afraid. I don't like being afraid, but the forces that were watching me, and not quite attacking yet, were immense and nasty. I felt I could do it and get away, eventually, but it was going to either hurt or I'd at least stare them down long enough for the others to get away.

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