Earlier this year, I posted a written piece titled “Don’t Count”- a piece of advice my mom gave me on my birthday when I was breaking down my life into numbers and ruining it with those numbers.
Nearly 10 months later, I have taken her advice. Kind of. I am still counting.
Today is 10 years since I last saw my dad. I think? I always remember it as 8 November but I’m not really sure. I think I’m right though. In my car I wrote in my notes “Today is 10 years since I last saw my dad. So weird. I feel like listening to the Jonas Brothers and Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato. That was what was on my first ipod that he bought me that day in November. It was blue.” I was going to put Miley Cyrus too, but didn’t for some reason.
Last night 13 people were killed in Thousand Oaks. Kira is from Thousand Oaks. So are Lauren and Rylee and Hannah and V and so many people that I admire so much and love so much. 305 shootings have happened this year. It is the 315th day of the year. Less 2 weeks ago 11 worshippers were shot and killed in a synagogue in Pittsburgh. 2 and a half weeks after I turned 17, 17 died at Marjory Stoneman Douglas. 3 weeks later I talked about 17 year old Joaquin Oliver in front of 1400 kids on the football field at my old high school. I wonder how many more times I will have to try to convince people of common sense gun laws. I wonder how many more until people wake up and it hits them and they realize. I wonder how many more until it hits me.
I’ve been getting 3 hours of sleep a night. Closing my eyes at 3, struggling to open them at 6 ish. I try to keep them closed for 10 more, 10 more, 10 more snooze minutes and they’re heavy on my 10 minute drive to school.
4 hour shift at work today. Not too bad. 4 hour shift a few hundred thoughts about shootings and crying and families and unreceived phone calls and doors never opened. 1 man walking in with a gun on his hip. But don’t worry Jenna- he’s a sheriff, he needs it off duty to protect himself.
1 man wearing a Ventura Strong shirt. Where’s Ventura? Had there been a tragedy there? I realized when I got home and saw Ventura County Sheriff on my Tv.
I sent in 1 college application. Tuition is… I won’t say. I hope I get in. I’m wearing 1 of 2 shirts I have from the school.
Señora told me she was hopeful when she heard me talking about it today in class. She said she had hope the world would be okay. We’re on Don Quijote capitulo 3. Capitulo 4 tomorrow. Test in 5 days.
I turn 18 in 2 and a half months. It is so scary how everyday I am luckier and luckier to live to this age. I’m lucky I haven’t been shot in English class, watching a movie, serving people dinner, praying, dancing in a crowd while my favorite music played and suddenly SILENCE. It was silent in Borderline when the gunman opened fire they say, Don Lemon says.
Cherry says things are rough all over in The Outsiders.
Read that one 4 years ago with Ms. Paterson.
I’m sorry mama, I just can’t stop counting. I’m still counting.