Saturday, March 10, 2018

Now Know Do i found myself on the third floor of a department store, in the bowels of their stockroom, in the back-back, sitting with sewing machines, spools of colorful thread and strangers. we were all locked in together, passing careful, quiet comments. some were teary, others uncomfortably talkative. a young couple with a doe-eyed five month old sat across from me kissing their baby's soft hair. two girls, just beyond their teens, huddled close holding hands, possibly sisters or best friends or partners. an older woman clutched a hyper maltese which her daughter, hair streaked a magnificent blue, scratched behind the ears while whispering, "I love you, syd vicious." we were all waiting to hear if there was in fact, an 'active shooter' running in our direction. we knelt beside café refrigerators and squeezed between shelving, hurried down unfamiliar halls, not yet knowing what we were hiding from. moved four times to more secure locations, intermittent prerecorded announcements reminding us that we were on emergency lockdown, directed by security guards and managers and shaken employees, away from windows, up-up-up escalators, as cellphones and spirits were drained. who do you think of in such an acute moment of Now? what hasn't been said, what shouldn't have mattered earlier in your day, week, lifetime? what do you know that you Know. and what is there left to Do once the doors are unlocked and you are let out?

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