Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Lost Weekend

While Ernst continued to plug away at our ever-shrinking punch list, I was not good for much of anything after Friday. The news of the school shooting hit me hard and it all seemed like too much to even help him paint trim.

My mom and sister live very close to Newtown, and hearing their initial reactions was difficult. When we visit back there, I'm always a bit bummed to come home because it's like leaving Perfectville for Normalville. Last time we were there, I was looking for a parking place in Westport, one of Connecticut's idyllic towns on the seashore. I was thinking how different it is than where we live, a city that does not exactly ooze with charm. Then I saw a seemingly nice looking man walking down the street. He was wearing a t-shirt that said F___ Obama. Such an ugly bit of reality on an otherwise beautiful day. I wanted to say something snarky to him but it would have just been a case of pearls before swine. There are no Perfectvilles.

With three teachers in the family, my job as a school dispatcher, and the facts that this tragedy could happen anywhere are part of what kept me so numb this weekend. The worst things I've had to report at work so far have been a missing child (found), attempted copper theft (caught), and broken windows and graffiti too numerous to recount (repaired at the tax payer's expense). Mostly my job consists of watching people using the school grounds for the good and the bad, taking calls from alert neighbors keeping us posted, and communicating with the custodians and teachers, who call in to say they're putting extra time in their classrooms. Ernst was understanding as I cocooned these last few days, but it's time to get back to life here in Normalville.