It is happening. Summer, despite the heat suggesting otherwise, is already ending. School is starting again, and with it the new clothes, supplies, schedules and everything that summer is not. The kids have not stretched enough, they are still working on the art of laziness, and needless to say, they are not thrilled. Not all change is wanted or welcome.
He had his hands up, innocent and obvious, but the shouts kept coming and they were followed by the bullets. There was a camera. There were witnesses. Everything was black and white. And he was dead, just like the man last week, the woman a day before, gone but for the headlines and lack of justice.
Still, when it comes to milestones, this is a big one. The boys will each be in the last year of their respective schools — the kings of the schoolyard — one last hurrah at the top of the slide before they get to the bottom and they do it again. Few things are as helter-skelter as the social dynamics of the public school system. This is where bonds bend, break and tie their ends again. This is where they go for a ride.
The last sound they heard was a scream borne of laughter. There had been a beat or a burger, a bar or a counter, the joy of good company and the good company of joy. The pistol was pressed against the children. The dancers pressed against the floor. The screaming stopped and it spread accordingly, a wave of terror breaking across the news cycle.
There is so much at stake, from the furthering of their education to the labels they apply and have applied upon them. After all, it is through transition that we get to where we are going, and it is, as they say, the journey that makes the difference. These are the years that will be built upon for inspiration and lesson, the stuff of scars and starlight.
They were just doing their job, protecting and serving, their shirts pressed and blue. The shots rang in echoes of the madness, their lives lost pointlessly upon the thin line of duty. Flags were lowered and too often folded. The sirens spinning something endless.
I can only hope that their mother and I have given the boys the tools needed to pursue their own dreams, or what passes for them, as they move from one path to another; to know what is right and wrong, and have the strength to seek knowledge whenever the chance presents itself. I want them to find happiness, kindness and gratitude, too, and to share each of them generously.
The hate was in the handgun. It was a vest and a backpack. It was planned, the deliberate act of fear and ignorance. It was unexpected, a normal day ending anything but, the seasons lost to shadows and a blur of bullets heading to our sweet spots. It was a day like any other, families torn asunder, and tomorrow the sun will rise again.
It is happening.