Since Saturday afternoon, I have seen my hometown in print every day. I grew up in El Paso, and was stunned to have the city pushed into my awareness by a tragic event. And I can’t help but wonder if tragedy is a feedback loop onto itself because this tragic event has thrown me back into my own trauma history with the daily reminder of where I lived as a child. It is not lost on me that an argument can be made that this can be seen as self-centered with the real loss of life that just happened.
And, yet, I still find myself stuck in some way every time I see the news since the weekend. I’ve lived in the Northwest and the Northeast of this country since I left El Paso many years ago. By design, I’ve endeavored to be as far away as possible. It’s truly not the city’s fault that I am not a fan. Though I can’t help but associate my feelings with El Paso as it is where a lot of stuff happened. To be clear, I am not aware of the entirety of my experience. But I know enough to know that it was traumatic.
This past weekend I was at an event where I was asked about my family with insistence that I must have support from family members. I responded by saying, “Certain family members-I regularly look up their arrest record to keep track of them as it is public information in Texas.” That put an abrupt end to the inquiry.
And now I have to stop writing because it is too much.