The Fury of Wanting Answers
June 18, 2016
For my birthday, my beloved gave me time away, alone, in Cedar Key to write. It’s been such a terrible, sad, angry week. And a heart open one. Each day some particular moment broke me. Sunday it was the horror, the deaths, such anger, the imagined agony of being inside that building. On Monday each act of thoughtful kindness left me raw—the quick organizing of resources to care for the animals of the dead and injured and free plane rides and burial plots. Tuesday was about the loose ends. All day I worried about the cars. Who would take care of those abandoned cars sitting in the parking lot and along streets in the neighborhood? How would they find them all? Wednesday I was in a fury of wanting answers. What happened and when, exactly?
This week I’ve been to vigils, gatherings of support, given money, joined in naming my first lesbian bar on Facebook (Ms. Garbo’s, Atlanta, the late seventies), signed assault rifle ban petitions, tweeted the Senate’s filibuster, shared the articulate, beautiful, wounded words of queer people on social media, and fiercely reveled in spreading the word about the homophobia of a local candidate for election. It all seems useless. I am of no use. No matter what I do, so many are still dead.
So now I’ll take the privilege of going on with my planned life and sit in a hotel room alone with the window open and breath the salt air. It’ll be a relief that when another surge of crying comes, I won’t be in public. I have a list of what I want to accomplish—the next chapter on the novel, a piece about applying for SSDI, and feedback on a friend’s essay. But are these useful things? How can I be of use?