Nearly one year on, these are the things I remember.
Going to my favorite breakfast restaurant the next morning and sitting next to a loudmouth man who talked about how he didn’t even want to have Christmas anymore, but who, as he paid for his meal, tried to get the waitress to stop by his car dealership.
The town piling up all the toys people donated in the basement of the town hall and letting kids just pick freely from them. After Chirstmas they still had so many that they had to make expensive plans to get rid of the absurd mass of toys that people donated with no thought whatsoever as to whether they were comforting anyone but themselves.
The woman who set up an ad hoc memorial consisting of little Christmas trees, which she described as having “pink lights for the girl angels and blue lights for the boy angels,” and my bafflement both at the fact that gender essentialism is somehow necessary after death and that the six adults got red lights.
The day it took an hour to drive the mile from my house to the comic shop because of the traffic around the church, not from people going to one of the funerals, but from news vans parked across the street filming people at the funeral.
The numbing awkwardness of meeting a bunch of Jill’s family for the first time at a family Christmas party two days after, and having a half-dozen identical conversations, all of which begin with someone I’ve just met asking where in Connecticut we live, and which end precisely one sentence later.
How it was too soon to talk about the politics of gun control right up until the impetus to actually do anything had passed.
Reading an article in Salon that offered a deconstructive take on the name of the bar Nancy Lanza frequented – My Place – viewing it as the epitome of American capitalist culture. My Place added a bar no more than a decade ago, and anyone local knows it as one of the main local pizza places; I first ate there over twenty years ago.
The signs some presumably well-meaning people put up suggesting that everything is God’s plan, and how I wanted to just drive out at 2am and tear them all down, along with the brightly colored signs comforting the town made by kids who had never been there and hung from every telephone pole, and all the other mawkish, brightly colored shit that consisted of nothing more than hollow platitudes trying to advance the sickening lie that there is anything OK about a world where one morning twenty first graders can be gunned down in their classroom.