At the kitchen sink. The mundane task of washing lettuce leaves.
Lettuce leaves! Those delicate, fragile, most tedious vegetable to wash. Each with its fine veins, and tiny notorious bulges, where microscopic mites and bugs hide. I commit to relentless rinsing, re-rinsing, and sieving. Wanting a good silent distance from the world.
Last Friday’s Florida school shooting, the eighteenth school shooting in the US this year. And on that same Friday, a second-year male law student, where I teach, was also killed. Murdered.
When we first got the news, the official story was he was in a car accident. Then details emerged. His body was found in the dark parking lot of a hospital with bruises around his neck and ribs. A twenty-year-old youth, well known amongst his peers, and professors, as promising, and ambitious. Reduced to a battered body, disposed of like garbage, in a dirty street.
My grief is as silent, and as solid, as a cold brick wall. The kind of sturdy brick wall I want to build between myself and this cruel world, this alien like, gruesome “humanity”.
More than the normalization of violence, it is clear that men are broken, boys are broken. Humanity is a pathetic nauseating thing to look at.