I was sitting on the Manhattan bound A-Train, Friday and an older woman in elephant print, caked in earth, was pacing the car. Bleating "I'm scared" at the top of her lungs, she pointed to a woman who looked similar to her; long dreads and African prints, and yelled "I'm scared for her!" Her rough hands, old with anxiety, thumb pointed skyward, pointer and middle finger--like a pistol-- directed to a face that, too, looked terrified. She cocked her imaginary gun back and belted "One click and she's dead. I'm scared for her!" and I felt myself shutting down, on the Manhattan bound A-Train.
I can't pretend to put words into feelings I don't understand. Can't pretend to empathize when I can really only sympathize. Or is it sympathize when I can only really empathize? Haven't we all been persecuted? Aren't we tired yet? To the lady on the Manhattan bound A-Train, I'm scared, too. The truth is, we have found too many mechanisms for ending lives and too few for enjoying them.
Is it fear that prompts people to shoot innocent men? To destroy families? To make light of life? And then to share it; to have proof of father-less children, of children who will never un-see, un-know the way it feels to have a parent in the car one second and not the moment later. Because fear simply begets fear: a fear we are all responsible for. A fear none of us will take any responsibility for--not if we are conscientious to recognize what responsibility would mean. But we are all driven by fear. Even fear that we will wake up with a bigot spearheading our country, a gas chamber where our hearts should be.
I have a pillow on my couch that has a picture of Derek Shepard and says "It's a beautiful day to save lives." We don't have to be in the middle of surgery to save lives, turns out, we can save lives just by putting down the guns.
This is Me:
My name's Melissa. I'm the girl with her hands in her journal.