Shots fire, and I drop to the ground. My screams join all the others, ringing in my ears. People trample my body as they flee the scene. I cover my head with my arms, closing my eyes tight. And I wake up. Panting. Sweaty. And grateful.
For the person beside me, and the dog by my feet, both asleep in their own protected dreamlands. For the safety of my loved ones, probably also asleep, miles away from here.
For my life, and the absence of any present danger.
Although, the danger is everywhere now. It’s unavoidable. Even going to a concert, or a movie, can cause some apprehension.
A conversation with a friend earlier today, through text:
My friend is frightened, which is understandable. And it’s sad that this has become our reality, but I firmly stand by what I told her: We cannot live our lives in fear. Because then they will win. And we will lose. Every time we decide to censor our own lives because of the actions of others, we lose. And really, you cannot plan for the worst anymore, because the worst is unimaginable.
We are in danger all the time, we just don’t think about it. The minute we step out the door, bad things can happen to us.
Who am I kidding? Bad things can happen to us indoors, too. A heart attack, a stroke, a break-in. We could choke on our breakfast, alone in the kitchen.
There are too many unknowns in this life, that to try to avoid every possibility of “What could go wrong?” would not be living. Not to mention, we would go insane with paranoia.
So go on. Live your life. Step outside. Get on that plane. Jump in the water. Go to the concert. Do all the things that you want to do, that you dream of doing, and even fear doing.
Within reason, of course.
Can terrible things happen? Yes.
Will something terrible happen? Who knows? Quien sabe?
Should that stop us?
*Dedicated to the friends and families of those affected by the tragic shootings in Las Vegas