I play video games. A lot. I’m utterly addicted to BioWare RPGs and Zynga Bingo. I also watch television shows with absolutely no real life significance. Shows like The Vampire Diaries and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I read books that don’t make me think. This is a big change for me (okay, maybe not the video game part). Junk food novels and entertainment-only TV/movies just weren’t my thing. But since Zack passed away, these have become my primary coping mechanism and through this process, I’ve learned something about seemingly pointless entertainment.
On the day of Zack’s memorial service, the sun was shining. I barely noticed as more than one hundred people gathered at the church. Some of them I knew, many I did not. There was a deep fog all around me that made it hard to breathe and hard to see. A fog that the sun could not cut through.
We’d planned almost every second of the service. It would be filled with music because that’s what Zack would love. Because we knew that Zack would rather have us celebrate his life and his laughter than gather his friends and family to weep. I was too numb to cry and my heart was too heavy to handle laughter.
In Corvallis, the Sierra Club is trying to push through a ban on plastic bags combined with a fee on paper bags to “encourage use of reusable bags.” It makes a certain sort of sense on the outside. We all love the environment and want to live in a clean city. But we also want an equitable community and the only way to create an equitable community is to carefully consider the implications of our policies on every part of that community.
This means that as much as a bag ban might make environmentalists and street cleanup crews happy and as much as it might make business owners and many consumers unhappy, it could also have very tangible effects on the people in our community who live in poverty. In all of the hullaboo around this controversial policy recommendation, this is the one population that hasn’t even been mentioned.
…or The Worst Question in the World
People are not unlike the web development software that we call “What You See Is What You Get.” In WYSWYG software, you enter your text and pictures into a dialogue box and supposedly, what the person looking at the page will see is exactly what you’ve entered. Much of the time, it works. But every now and then, you look at the page and the font you chose is different in one sentence, there are five too many spaces between two paragraphs, or punctuation from some other language sits in the middle of every other word. Some bit of phantom code has embedded itself in the back end.
Yesterday I watched an early episode of ‘Lie to Me’ where a couple has a missing child and Cal asks them, “Did you kill your daughter?” This is one of those things that parents who have lost a child at home don’t talk about. The feeling of knowing that this is what the police are asking, no matter how subtly they do it, is difficult to describe. For me, it went something like this:
We had been home from the hospital long enough to tell our three other children that their younger brother was gone. I was on the telephone with my sister when someone knocked at the door. I was numb. It was as though I’d fallen from a great height and couldn’t get air back into my lungs.