For David Parrish
What finally gets me is the Volkswagen bus parked in front of my neighbor’s house, a bright green near-neon thing screaming Spring! Spring! just days after my neighbor’s son has died in Mexico, been killed, I mean, murdered during a robbery. It happens on a Wednesday, our neighbor emails us on Thursday; by Friday, there’s a Fox news van parked on our street and on Sunday, a reporter-friend is calling asking for clues. Nobody’s talking, I said, not the neighbor, not me, not us; all I can tell you is that the other paper messed things up, names, details. But she’s got news for me: the killer was let out of jail, bribery, 5 grand to swap clothes with another inmate, are you kidding me; Spring Break Turns Tragic the local headline shouts. Out of deference, I stare straight ahead as I enter and leave my home; I haven’t seen my neighbor in days. “They just left,” my husband said tonight after taking out the recycling, “dressed in black.” But that’s not the whole of the story—what gets me is how goddamn positive my neighbor is, how unavoidably clearly he’s able to look at the whole thing. After my father died, I wandered around in a haze for months, bitter, lost. And this is where I already see David’s gift—in the way his father openly mourns and rejoices his 21-year-old son’s short life. Stunned by the strange beauty of it all, I can’t help but think Well maybe he’s already done it: accomplished everything he came here for, touched the lives he was meant to touch. Fifteen years after my own father’s death, I sometimes wonder if he touched any lives at all. What is it about this world, this crazy life, redemption What makes us that person others want to hold touch turn away from Scream as we look in the rear view mirror on a quiet snowy spring day. Whose eyes are we seeing, and what are we missing?