Was it a drug deal gone bad? We think of episodes of the Wire. Was alcohol involved? Was it a gang thing?
Why did this happen in our peaceful city?
Was it some kind of fight? Did they know each other? Was it an argument over a girl, a car, a football game?
How can this be not about me, but about the victim and the shooter? We don't want to believe we live in a city where random shootings just happen. Random violence is terrifying. The universe must have a plan. Things must happen for a reason.
Why did he get shot? Was he in the wrong place at the wrong time? 2nd and Pike isn't the most savory part of town. There are lots of shady characters hanging around there. Maybe he deserved it.
Maybe it was his fault.
Maybe this has nothing to do with me, with our city, with our society. Maybe this was all about him.
I know I'm not the only one who has these thoughts flooding into his head. It's ugly, but that's the way we think, in a civil society. We want to have a reason for violence that makes it about The Other, about something else. Because the alternative - that violence happens suddenly, inexplicably, unpredictably - is too terrifying to bear.
I've been working. I have a job, ladies and gentlemen.
I've been working for ... um ... weeks, actually. Sorry I haven't mentioned it.
I haven't posted it because I haven't been able to figure out how to talk about it here. I'm working in communications for a very large and well-known employer here in the Pacific Northwest. I can't say more than that, and seriously, I cannot say more than that. If I go a step over that vague comment, you will know where I work, how to find me, and where my business Twitter account can be found.
And I will get in a lot of trouble if that happens.
So I hope you will forgive me if I don't share much detail. But I can say this about the job: I love it.
I feel like this is the job that I've been working my way towards for the past decade. I'm writing. I'm doing a lot of writing, in a lot of formats. I'm working with the media. I'm building online communities. I'm at the vortex of a very large virtual community, and it's an amazing experience. All the organizing, all the fundraising, all of the odd roles I've been taking on all these years. It all had been leading to this.
I'm exactly where I want to be.
I am so deliriously happy that I feel like dancing every day. People, this is a wonderful job. And that's what I can say: that, after the difficult jobs and the weird bosses and the firings and the layoffs, I have found something that is very close to my dream job. It can happen.