Allow me to grovel at my extended absence from this blog. Life had delivered a few sharp blows that sucked the wind right out of my writer’s sails…but today, I saw something that forced me back to the keyboard.
Sadly, it’s tragedy that brings me here.
Any of you that know me understand me as an awkward person. Always have been. Always will be to varying degrees.
In high school, I was even worse. Exponentially so.
I never went on a date in high school. No dances. No movies. No senior prom. I was too painfully shy.
In my junior year, I was required to serve 3 weeks as a social service project. I chose Children’s Hospital where I thought I could feed babies and pull little kids around on wagons… and I did those.
But I also met a beautiful girl my age there.
Her name was Shannon.
She happened to be very down to earth and friendly.
I was awestruck.
I looked for any excuse to hang around in her vicinity.
I talked to her. Conversation came free and easy.
I screwed my courage up and asked her out on a date.
She said yes.
Fairy tales would have had us falling in love, complete with white picket fence and Volvo station wagon.
Ok… probably not a Volvo. Her dad happened to own a Pontiac dealership.
But my life is no fairy tale. And the date never happened. Not through her own fault, but due completely to my own cowardice and insecurity.
I never followed through. I never had the stones to call her and set up the date.
Every now and then, I would flip through a photo album and see photos of myself and a couple of high school chums in our blue volunteer vests hanging out at Children’s Hospital. I even had a picture of Shannon and I in there.
I would smile. What a silly, stupid kid I was.
And then today happened.
I was enjoying a gas station hot dog for lunch and flipping through the paper and a headline caught my eye.
“Funeral set for cancer patient beaten to death”
I started to read the article and dropped my hot dog in disbelief.
It was Shannon.
Now I hadn’t seen or spoken to her since then…but I was still sad and shocked.
She was seeking treatment for cancer in the Chicago area. Sitting at a bus stop. Some lowlife subhuman came up behind her and bashed her in the head. For apparently no reason whatsoever. Not robbery or anything else. The guy simply ran off.
What the actual fuck is that? What sort of piss poor excuse of a world is this really coming to?
She was on life support for about a day.
Died trying to fight death from another source.
A blogger friend of mine wrote a very popular post called “A Senseless Death”
Donnie, I have to compare this loss as just as senseless as the one you wrote about so beautifully.
Godspeed Shannon. You’re with your dad now. Watch over your family.
I am sorry for the way your life ended here.