Saturday, September 14, 2013

Loud as a Whisper

I know I haven't updated. There's been a very good reason. The past month has not been kind.

Those random shootings that have been popping up on television and dominating the news in the US hit far too close to home for me. In August, there was a shooting at my store. One of the cashiers brought a pair of semi-automatic pistols, along with 22 rounds of ammunition and shot a "rival" cashier. Her reasoning? The rival had been getting easier jobs and she shot her in a fit of jealousy.

I was there the day it happened. Although I saw nothing, I heard everything. It was not a good day.

I've been coping as well as can be expected. I'm not as badly traumatized as some of the others. On that day, I refused to go home; I stayed until the end of my shift. It wasn't easy but I managed somehow. I will admit to grabbing a wine cooler when I got off the clock for the day. Experts tell you not to, as they advise against using a substance that is considered depressive but on that day, I needed something to calm me down. I will also admit to sleeping in until well past noon the next day, as I wasn't scheduled to go in. I will also admit to jumping at loud noises for a couple of weeks afterward and the sound of gunfire will make me flinch. I have no idea how long I will continue that behavior.

I am reminded of a strip from あずまんが大王 (Azumanga Daioh): when Chyo-chan mentions that she wants to study in America, her friend Miss Osaka says that if she does, she'll be shot. The first time I read that strip I shook my head and laughed. It really wasn't so bad here in the States, I thought. We didn't have that big a gun problem.

I'm not laughing anymore.