I believe that – somehow – the people live on in the memories of those left behind. While that was comforting to me from my perspective – the living perspective – I found I had a lot of questions of what that would mean from the other side. What would such an afterlife seem like to someone who had died?
I’ve always felt like a single thread intertwined in the middle of a patchwork quilt that makes up our history. As I asked my mom and dad about the past, Daniel asks me now about watching the Bears win a Super Bowl, remembering when President Nixon resigned, seeing Scooby Doo on television when it was brand new.
I wrote that line and had some ideas I wanted to convey. But it was still too early. The emotion I felt was too deep. It came from somewhere in my reptilian brain and defied any attempt to put it into language, short of a cross between a low growl and a plaintive howl to the sky.
Columbine wasn’t the first school shooting. It wasn’t the worst shooting. However, Columbine touched a nerve in me. The night before the shootings, Meka and I had spent a couple of hours on the phone, going through baby names. We had picked out “Daniel”, but we were still working on the middle name.
Year after year, for better or worse, there is a common cast of characters you listen to on the radio, watch on television or see on the sidelines. They become the people you see everyday, like the folks in the neighborhood, familiar faces that you would smile and offer a wave to if you see them on the street. You smile at their eccentricities; they become another thread in Chicagoland lore. You can forgive them almost anything.
The Bulls battled all the way to game seven and they kept it close through much of the game, but ultimately came up short. That was as close as the Bulls would get to the championship until the Jordan era, when Bob Love’s number would be hanging from the rafters, Jerry Sloan would be coaching the Jazz and Norm Van Lier would be analyzing his old team on television.
What-if scenarios combine his talents with those he inspired: Brian Wilson, Keith Richards, Lennon and McCartney. No one ever seems to think he might have failed later in life, his next records might have flopped or those he inspired might have ended his career as surely the sixties legends overshadowed almost all of the surviving pioneers from the fifties.
As to what it all meant is anyone’s guess. In their battle to uncover the secrets of the other side, neither Number Two nor Number Six was willing to divulge much of anything to the audience.
Part of the problem is he was never there when he was alive. No one else we know is buried there, so I have no other memories of the place. It’s also quiet; too quiet. In retrospect it seems too peaceful for David. We should have buried him closer to the city in a subwoofer cabinet.
I feel bad not giving Zachary a more dignified send off, but it was obvious he had gone gently into that good night, leaving his mortal coil at room temperature in an enclosed area for a couple of days.
The death was totally unexpected and the family didn’t have any last instructions to go on except one. Once he had said someone should shoot his ashes into the forest where he liked to hunt. So, the Honor Guard stood on the sidelines as the family loaded his old shotgun with his ashes. Each relative came up and solemnly shot off a charge in a different direction into the woods.
My brother David was 22 when he was killed. At his funeral, I remarked he did a lot of living in that brief time. However, he did even more driving. I think his… Read More