A work friend’s family was in attendance at the Chicago parade, two parents and two very young children, huddled together with strangers in the stock room of a nearby store for 2 hours while the shooter was still on the loose. How terrifying. She seemed okay, grateful, and relieved the store was slow so we had some time to talk about it.
Everything to say about the US right now is too obvious, but I find it comforting to directly communicate with people, check in, temper feelings of isolation. This is the heart of why I think I panic when faced with the prospect of not being able to do what I’m doing. There’s a bittersweet flavor. I’ve been fortunate to encounter such wonderful people, also to have had busy hands and attention during a time when without it I might sink into social media and despair.
I tried really hard today, to connect with a young man who has worked in the store for just a few weeks. I just can’t seem to make a connection, which concerns me because he is like this with everyone. When asked what he’s interested in, nothing; what he wants to study, nothing. He doesn’t engage. He quietly does his tasks, but doesn’t feel as much there as others do.
I may have been projecting too much onto him because of so many young disconnected men in the news, but it seems right to be a source of warmth, lightness, in whatever ways I can.