Helicopters overhead, police everywhere. The local Forza Coffee Company where I do the lion’s share of my grading for classes was the site this morning of what is being described as “an ambush” attack which killed four Lakewood police officers.
The coffee house is directly across the street from McCord Air Force Base; yesterday I sat there watching soldiers getting on chartered airplanes for Afghanistan.
Today there is a large box of ungraded papers sloshing around in the trunk of my Hyundai and a large grant to complete before tomorrow morning; a certain lack of clarity seems to have enveloped everything. Then again, though I had professed my intent to go to Forza to do my grading, fortunately I wasn’t there.
The New York Times reports on the story here, the Seattle Times coverage and Tacoma News Tribune will certainly continue to follow the story. I didn’t know these police officers by name, but we have shared table space with our laptops at Forza and I’m sad about what is happening.
It’s all well and fine to think and write about problems of international relations, but today Americans are killing Americans in America, in my America, and I don’t like it.
Executing John Allen doesn’t make it all better.
New facades cracked by bullet holes, lives flickered out. Confusion of death, clarity of life, guilt and shame for the living, unfinished work. Someday the roots will overtake the parking lot, the photos will crinkle, police department archives alone will hold the story, as humanity finds bolder ways to slaughter itself.