witty-remark's Diaryland Diary

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This afternoon we had an assembly, a reverend whose son had been shot in the Tabor shootings came to speak with us. It was ironic because of the shootings that had recently taken place at Virginia Tech. Thirty-two people; I can’t possibly fathom how one person could kill so many. I sympathize with all those who lost someone, but a part of me feels even more grief for the shooter. How ghastly could an individual’s life be in order to be driven to such a point?

The reverend’s words were so rehearsed; it was simple to see that he had said each phrase and made the same punch line time after time. When he spoke, it was as though he was reading narrations from pages that he’d marked off in his autobiography. I expected him to be more passionate, especially in light of what had just happened, but it was as though his words were his remedy. I don’t doubt his sincerity one bit, but he had said the same thing so many times that little by little they had lost their meaning and dulled his pain. It seemed to me that he had medicated himself by repeating his story so often that he didn’t have any tears left to shed or emotions to spare. He would lower and raise his voice to denote his passion, but every rise and drop, every change in pitch was noticeably rehearsed. Before he departed, he ended by reminding us all how special we are. Undoubtedly, he meant for his words to be inspirational, but they sounded like compliments that social workers give to miserable kids. “You are strong”, “you mean something, you’re special”, “you are a significant person in this world and you have an impact on all those around you”. Things like that that were meant to be the most inspirational always appeared the most uninspired. Overall, the assembly was good and I’m glad that the reverend and his family were able to overcome this tragedy, but still I wish that I had been there when he delivered his very first speech. I wish I had been there when his words were still new and meaningful, before they had become stale and worn out like a piece of chewed gum on the sidewalk that had sat out beneath the sun for too long. And this sounds terrible, but I wanted to see him tear up. I wanted to see his eyes glaze over and hear his voice get choked up. It’s selfish of me, but I wanted physical proof that he still cared.

6:00 p.m. - Wednesday, Apr. 18, 2007

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