I’ve been obsessing over my writing these past few months (“Oh, really,” you say, “we haven’t noticed.”) So I made a personal commitment to myself that today I would get up, look around me, and write about something that is a part of my real life community. I had planned a positive post.
I live in a nice little suburb of downtown Orlando called Belle Isle. It is one of the enclaves of the city that has a small town charm to it. That’s one of the things I like most about it.
My daughter called a few minutes after I had finished my morning coffee. She was planning to take my granddaughter to a local church where the little one will be attending pre-school. Her appointment was cancelled by the school. They sent all of the little ones home early because there was a shooting in my community today involving a police officer. Just down the street.
Here’s the initial report: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/breakingnews/os-swat-officer- involved-shooting-20140723,0,4350551.story They have an error. It’s southeast Orlando not west.
The man has barricaded himself in a local home, armed and dangerous. Authorities are advising us to keep our doors and windows locked and stay inside. There are helicopters everywhere now. I counted one local news reporter, two cop copters, and four military helicopters. Yes, that’s right, military. This has been going on all morning, and it is afternoon. They have closed all the streets. I’m thinking this really can’t be good. Never mind my errand running is ruined. (How trivial, right?)
I haven’t forgotten the fear that I felt as a teen in the streets of NYC. I don’t know if I am capable of sharing exactly what I’m feeling right now. You always think this crazy shit happens to other people, but it sounds like a war zone out there. My doggies are going nuts. The streets are empty. It’s spooky.
An author friend, Michael Bishop, in my home town in GA sent his son off to Virginia Tech to study, and he was massacred by a deranged killer. My little granddaughter can’t visit her preschool because of a gunman. This is an increasingly crazy world to live in.