Sunday, March 27, 2011

Armed gunmen

I'm on the plane, coming home from CA.

Last night I told myself I wouldn't write about this on the blog for a lot of reasons that I will expand on below, but today- I realize I have to... Because that is what my heart wants and what my brain needs; and this space is at least a little to give my heart and brain a tiny bit more of what they want.

Yesterday afternoon, I got a text from my sister: “Did you talk to mom today?”

Pretty benign, right? But I knew immediately that something had happened.

Quickly, quickly- as my stomach was dropping- I considered some possibilities: a diagnosis for someone close? My grandmother didn't wake up? An accident?

Web (text): She's okay

Me (text): What happened?

Web (text): She walked in on a bank robbery

Ugggh... texting ends and I call her cell phone.

So, my mom doesn't like to put a lot of things out there. And my blog is probably not how she wants a lot of people to find out about this surreal, scary, personal thing that happened to her. But that's what it is to have kids – they are always taking your stuff and misusing it...

Mom went into the bank and whistles and bells went off in her head when she didn't see any line of customers or any bank tellers at the counter. In the few seconds it took for that neurological signal to translate into a thought, she saw a gun man, heard a shot, smelled some gun powder, heard some shouting, and left.

She left the bank... running... after a shot was fired... from a handgun...

She said, she didn't know what was going on. She said she thinks her brain couldn't process the foreign inputs and stimulus. She just ran out the door...

Holy shit.

I want to laugh. I want to cry. I don't know how to explain what I am even feeling about this, let alone what she must be going through. I mean, it seems like the man (there were two of them, but she only saw one) didn't even know she had walked in to the bank. Her instincts must have told her that they hadn't seen her yet, because she wouldn't have run out if she thought that would have put her in more danger. Right?!? The BALLS on this woman!!! To just know to get the hell out of there...

Once a patient told me: “It's okay to be liberal when you are young, because you're optimistic and have a forgiving heart... but as you grow older, only a fool doesn't grow more conservative.” At the time, I wasn't sure what brought that tid-bit of advice out of him, but I knew what he meant: I'm a person that believes in rehabilitative punishment, believes that a majority of violent crimes are committed by mentally ill or extra-ordinarily desperate individuals; that poverty, racism, class-ism, and decreased educational opportunities contribute to imbalances in wealth and power that make circumstances ripe for us to dehumanize and commit crimes against each other. It's not that I empathize with criminals, or excuse crimes, I tend to want to see individual events and experiences, though, and I tend to NOT want to generalize the intentions of others...

All these years, I never forgot what that patient said and knew he was probably right. I've sort of been watching myself to see when and if it would happen – me growing more conservative in my attitudes. I'm gay and anyone that reads this blog knows where I fall on the political spectrum, but the thing is, I'm definitely shifting when it comes to crime.

I guess I'm just getting kind of sick of assholes flashing and firing guns to scare people. To scare and threaten people I love... or worse...

Who do these people think they are?!? It isn't enough what happened to our friends in their own home 3 years ago??? It isn't enough that we were just starting to relax in our homes after dark???

A moment should be taken to thank God and the Fates and Furies and Winds that this blog post ends up being a meandering, insignificant “blah, blah, blah,” instead of a horrifying recounting of a violent crime. Because I can't bear to even consider what could have happened, I'll focus instead on admiring and praising my mom for rocking out in every crisis scenario I've ever seen her face.

Steady we go. Trying to keep each other safe, pretending that we control our destinies, clinging to those we love, trying not to be afraid of the dark. Or in this case, the broad light of day.

I love you, Mama- I think you are very wonderful and brave!


Grand Marnier said...

Um, whoa! Glad your mom was okay!

2mommies said...

wow, that is scary. So, so glad that she wasn't hurt. I'm not sure I would have been able to react as fast as she did