This is my second time being adjacent to a mass shooting, it feels oddly familiar. The first was in Paris at the Bataclan in 2015, I was visiting at the time and out for a birthday dinner with Nina while it happened. We left our phones at the Airbnb.
Like then, I hesitate to make any of this about me, I wasn’t personally impacted and I feel like all the resources and sympathy should go to those who were directly affected. But I also know that it has a profound effect on everyone who must learn to navigate their environment with trepidation and fear, and that includes me and my family.
I heard about it as it was happening because Caitlin texted me to make sure I wasn’t grocery shopping. It means the world to me that she thought of me immediately. King Soopers is my favorite store but I go to the one on 30th Street and I happened to be there right around the time the shooting at the other one started.
The shooting happened at the one in South Boulder. I rarely go to it now but I am fond of the store. Nonetheless, she picked it up on Twitter and sent me a link to the live feed. It was surreal.
Then I got this notification.
I still don’t know exactly what happened but the fear was that a second shooter was in my neighborhood with a long gun. I have no idea how it shook out, but that was unnerving. Given what just happened in my tiny house just days ago, I didn’t feel terribly safe.
As background, the Atlanta shootings touched me deeply. Being a woman, being of Asian decent, and having friends who are proud sex workers. I am an ally. I personally do not feel unsafe in Boulder, but it is by dint of my location and economic status.
I experienced a lot of overt racism as a child, and endless microaggressions (don’t roll your eyes) still to this day.
If this makes you uncomfortable or wanting to defend yourself, just take a minute to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and imagine how it would feel to be constantly labeled as an other and have to answer personal and invasive questions all the time.
I responded to an AAPI advocate’s post that brought up painful memories.
I remember that school well. Bowling Green Middle School. I was so happy when a boy showed interest in me, we started to flirt, it was my first time. And I remember him losing interest when his friends caught wind and loudly said on the playground so I could hear, “Make sure she brushes her teeth before you kiss her because she’s probably just eaten a dog.”
Back to the present. I do the things that are available to me. I attend vigils, I write my local representatives, I vote. It all feels incredibly unsatisfying know that 90% of the population supports gun control yet it never happens. Our system of representation is broken.
Even if you live in a city with some common sense, it doesn’t stop the NRA from deciding how we get to live. Fuck them.
Thoughts are prayers are literally all we have. To date, we’ve had 210 mass shootings in America since the beginning of 2021. Today the news is all about Boulder and the senseless loss of life, need for background checks, gun control, blah blah. It won’t be days before this tragedy is pushed aside for the next one.
Also this week, Micah was using the tiny house to host a sleepover while I was gone. He and three friends were sleeping on the floor when an intruder opened the door, saw the sleeping kids, yet still took the opportunity to reach in and steal an iPhone and pods. Fortunately the kids didn’t wake up until the draft from the poorly shut door woke them up. I can only imagine how scared they would have been had they awoken to an intruder.
I feel uneasy at home. I feel uneasy in the world. I feel like this is yet another thing we must all get used to. It makes me tired.
I am looking forward to a few days in my house. David is coming to be with me, then a weekend with him in a house with men and a female MMA fighter/trainer/coach. Their presence is all symbolic, I would never want anyone I care for to get in a dangerous situation, but that energy of protection and confidence feels good right now.
I try to talk to Lonny about how this but as usual, he tries to talk me out of my feelings. Crime in my neighborhood is up 38% in the last year, in part due to Covid. People are not being taken to jail for theft and robbery. They are cited and released as if the fear of a court date would stop a professional thief.
Every day I see people post on Nextdoor that their house, their basement, their shed, has been broken into despite motion detecting lights, locks, and security systems. Even being at home won’t stop them. I ran into a man at McGuckins that had his trailer stolen. It had two Harley’s in it, a loss of $80,000. Lonny’s response is that crime is overall going down (???) and that it’s all the awareness that is making us feel like it is on the rise.
Well, that may be true (with the awareness) but the police statistics are real. Again he likes to deal with an issue by trying to talk me out of my feelings, and he can do that all he wants. I’m glad he isn’t the one I turn to. My experience with him is the memory of being dismissed. It doesn’t hurt me anymore but it will ultimately hurt him. Women want to be heard.
I saw this on IG and thought, yeah. That would be nice. But I’d rather have gun control and safe public spaces. Given our political climate and gun culture, $5 million and a private island are far more likely.
I’m just happy to have my home. It’s better than a private island.