I used to know the killer.
This is not a line I ever thought I’d type outside of a mystery novel, or one that I would ever utter in a straight forward, non-ironic literal way. But, as of September 10, 2018, it’s now a part of who I am and what I know.
To be fair, I was friends in high school and a passing acquaintance on Facebook with the guy who walked into his soon to be ex-girlfriend’s place on Monday and killed her, killed the male friend she had visiting her, and then turned the rifle on himself. This event will not change my life in any overt or obvious way, and yet…
And yet it feels like, as a friend recently put it, that the world beneath my feet tilted a little bit more off-center. As I said, in recent years I didn’t know him all that well. And it’s certainly not for me to comment on his mental state or what he might have been going through. I followed along on his journey as he went around the world to study and as he returned to Vegas to go back into the insurance game, but forever more, when I think of him, it will always be amended to add that little epitaph of killer to whatever memory there is.
And yet this somehow feels like an almost inevitable rite of passage at this point. School kids are practicing lock down and active shooter drills, so it only seems obvious that at some point, we’re all going to know someone who killed or was killed in some act of horrific violence. For me, that came on Friday, September 14th.
And yet for a number of my good friends, it came days earlier, because, you see, the woman in this scenario was their friend. She was someone they knew and loved and brought light into their lives and she was taken senselessly and needlessly from them. And while I felt bad for them, and extended my sympathies and had I been in any type of proximity I would have offered to go and have a drink with them, I didn’t know her. Their time to experience this world tilting event happened and I never thought mine could be next. But there it is.
And yet, I know I’m not alone and neither are they. I guess it’ll happen to all of us, eventually. Kurt Vonnegut would use this moment to say “and so it goes.” And so it does.
And yet I wish it wasn’t so.