There was a shooting here in the hamlet today.
It made me think of Oakley. The next thing I knew, I was listening to REM and doing a Google search for Oakley J. Smith, hoping to find a photograph of him. Instead, I found his information on one of the people search engines. It gave several of his addresses stating, “Died 1997, aged 30.” I loved Oakley. It enrages me that I will never see him again. I cry from angry frustration at the unfairness.
I wish you could have seen him. He had long, wild, woolly blond hair. If I stop to relax I can still see his smile, just like the sunrise. Sadly, he had flat feet. I loved him. He was A1, top shelf. There’s no one like him. I’d like to say he was a discriminating gentleman with the ladies but I try not to lie. He was a wonderful friend. We thought enough of one another that we wanted to always be friends; if we’d been anything else, we couldn’t have been. After he met my husband, it seemed he liked him the best, more unfairness. He was supposed to be here still.
Back to the homicide in the hamlet- Early this morning a 27 year old man shot his father and his uncle. He ran off into the woods. On his way to work, my husband counted 20 law enforcement vehicles and saw countless state troopers, sheriff’s deputies, town cops, and dogs, all out on a manhunt. The news made me want to cry.
My husband called me and told me to keep the door locked. I did as I was advised. I couldn’t help but think how that 27 year old man must be feeling out there, in the woods, with cops and dogs tracking him. He must have been just sick and scared, horrified by what he’d done in front of the rest of his family, so remorseful, hoping against hope that it was all going to be okay, that no one was dead.
When my husband stopped in at mid-morning, I told him I’d give that 27 year old man a peanut butter and jelly sandwich if he showed up here. I’d tell him he couldn’t stay. Maybe I’d let him take a nap then we could call the cops when he felt a little better. My husband just smiled at my flight of fancy and told me to keep the door locked.
According to the news that 27 year old man returned to the family home. A state trooper shot him. He was airlifted to the closest trauma hospital. He died from the gunshot.
I don’t know the details. I don’t care about them. Somebody’s son killed his father and his uncle. Somebody’s mother is a widow and she’ll have to bury her husband and her son, maybe her brother too. A state trooper probably threw up today; he did his job and the enormity of it will never leave him.
Forever is a long time.