Not so long ago I noted how strange it is to hear about tragedy in a place I've been on Facebook.
Since I've been to a lot of places on this earth, this seems to happen more and more often.
Not so long ago I posted this:
And now this...
For around a decade I had work taking me to Lisbon, Maine.
Twice a year I would fly into Portland then drive up to the city of Auburn, where I always stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn. It's a nice, reasonably-priced location overlooking the Androscoggin River. The region is home to some very nice people (including those that I worked with), and has interesting eateries across the river I enjoyed like She Doesn't Like Guthries and Pedro O’Hara’s*, a Mexican-Irish restaurant.
Also across the river? The city of Lewiston.
If you've been watching the news since Wednesday night, you know why this has been haunting me.
A single shooter with an assault rifle mass-murdered 18 people in two locations in Lewiston, Maine. Needless to say, I had a rough night followed by two rough days wondering if anybody I know was hurt or killed. As of now I am still wondering because I can't bring myself to email anybody to find out. They have enough to deal with, as the shooter is still at large.
This fucking sucks.
My post about Bangkok was 23 days ago. I didn't even have a month to get over that before this happens. And that's just places I am familiar with. There's loads upon loads upon loads of places going through exactly this kind of thing week by week. And I'm mortified that it's just become background noise to me.
Until it's not in the background. Like Lewiston, Maine.
Lewiston may be the second-largest city in Maine after Portland, but it's not a big city. The first shooting at a children's league bowling alley event is just next door to a restaurant I liked. The second shooting at a cornhole competition even bar & grill is just down the street from a McDonald's that I stopped at for breakfast dozens of times. So, yeah, you might say I'm familiar with the area where the shootings occurred. An area where on Wednesday night people were just living their lives, never knowing that 18 of them would end up dead with even more injured.
Which is all kinds of fucked up. Especially when now-a-days you can't even say you're sad that 18 people were murdered without being told you're "anti-gun" or "woke" or whatever other bullshit labels get hurled by assholes lacking any sense of empathy, decency, or compassion. Something I'm getting used to, despite it never making any sense.
Not that anything surrounding mass-murder ever could.