I live in a small town.
Since I live in a small town, most big news that goes on reaches these teenage ears of mine; and, as they say, no secrets are truly secret. It can be good to know what happens around here–it keeps things interesting, thankfully; however some times the news is not so good. It is, on occasion, a downer, being that most everyone knows everyone else, and tragedy is oft times the unwelcome stranger.
Tragedy has struck recently, and, normally, I am not a big one for speaking out loud about it–mostly I keep to myself, as many of you can probably gather. This is different. This hit a little close to home. It wasn’t detrimental to me, but it did have–and still does–an effect on me.
Two nights ago, one of my friends was killed in a car accident. The accident was not his fault; in fact, all the blame fell to the opposite driver, who had been driving under the influence. The pictures detailed a nasty crash, both cars were thoroughly battered. The drunk driver sustained minor injuries–my friend, unfortunately, died on the scene.
You know, tragedy is a large word. I suppose versatile would fit. It is the word people use when unexpected sorrow, or, even heartbreak, occurs. I get chills when I hear tragedy, as if it’s some omen, or marker, of misfortune, some kind of posted sign before the news is broken to you.
In this small town, the anxiety brought out by tragedy is amplified, turned up to a decibel so high it spreads itself across each house, each work place, each park, curling into the normal ever so abruptly that many have no time to adjust to these unusual circumstances.
It creates a vacuum: a pressurized chamber sucking out all the happiness and the sense of normality. People here walk around with hearts busy pumping all of their life and love, and they conceal it until an opportunity for aid comes to their side. I am not speaking of aid for themselves because, while everyone, including me, needs a trusted shoulder sometimes, it is the aid we get from supporting others wracked by these tragedies that fills our emptiness and gets us on our way again.
You should all have seen the beauty of cooperation at my school today. What started as a somber morning for all soon evolved into this incredible support system. Students counseled each other, got them chatting and laughing, playing games and having one hell of a time, all in the memory of a great guy who touched hundreds of people, made them feel worth it, because it was his nature.
I think my friend passed from the world too soon, but, I am reminding myself that he, like young Icarus, had a spirit that shined so bright, the world could not handle his brilliance.
I dedicate this post to him, to his family, and the small, yet strong, town in which we all live.
Rest in peace.