Oops, I watched the local news.
It lasted about 10 seconds. That was already too much.
I don’t watch the news. Especially not the local news. I was in an airport, browsing the books. A TV was above blaring something that was apparently “shocking” and “horrific” and that sort of thing. I haven’t watched the news in so long, I’m almost like a bear cub sniffing his first trash can. He knows it’s probably bad for him, but he’s still intrigued enough to get closer, sniff more deeply, just see what it’s all about.
Two men were kicking, punching, and robbing a man who was on the ground. Repeatedly. The man’s body on the ground had a blurred oval graphic around him.
My view of the screen lasted maybe 5 seconds. I saw what looked like a stomp to the head. It could have been the feet, but I suppose it was the head as isn’t that where people could do the most harm?
I turned away, looked through the books a few more seconds, but I could still hear the news, so I left the shop. Let’s see, it’s September, this was probably the first and only 5 seconds of local news I’ve seen all year. It was 5 seconds too many and hopefully will be the last 5 I see all year.
Should I just live in a cave? Like the little bear cub? Just hang out with mommy and eat berries? Tackle my brothers and climb trees? Do I just avoid the realities of the world? Am I allowed to choose which realities I want to be part of my life? I don’t have room in my consciousness for such violence, such anger, such barbaric beasts.
Maybe it was bad timing. Maybe the story before or after was about a 7-year old who saved an old woman from a flash flood in Arizona. Or maybe about an artist in Idaho who paints fallen soldiers and ships the paintings to the families without question, request for payment, or fanfare. Do I not live in a sheltered world of soccer practice and work? Red wine and bills? Fart jokes, bad haircuts, and Indian food. These are the highlights of my world and they are both high and light.
Hold on, let me banish the scene from my mind so I don’t give it any further attention. In fact, just mentioning it here releases more thought and consideration than I would like to bestow. Perhaps, in some twisted orbital pull equation of physics, bringing it up here will reverse something somewhere and one less person in the world will have to deal with such a world that is later encapsulated in a 5-second news piece. I’m going to assume it is so.