at seventeen, I announced my plans to visit a different solar system;
"you're not going there!" scoffed a neighbour.
"yes, I am - I'm going in two weeks."
my visit went very well;
at eighteen, I moved to that solar system.
as a newcomer, I found myself in discussions about intergalactic matters.
I would comment on how I liked the new solar system and felt at home;
"we're not perfect," said one resident, "we have problems too."
"I know," I responded, "but the major problems in the solar system I came from
either don't exist here or are much less significant."
Jordan selected trays of red flowers from the shop’s garden display - Avery had discovered the need for two more in the midst of planting. children’s voices floated from the school playground across the street; Jordan smiled at the joy warmer spring days brought.
inside the shop, Jordan waited in line to pay, attempted to resist the cute chocolate eggs with toys inside, then, resistance failing, selected two, knowing Avery’s good-natured teasing would only last temporarily. plus, Jordan was bringing the flowers.
“more bad news,” said the person at the front of the line, motioning to a newspaper. “soon it’ll be just like that here.”
Jordan glanced at the headline and remained quiet. news certainly made the two countries seem quite alike, but eighteen years lived experience in one, and over a decade in the other, made Jordan aware of many subtle yet important distinctions.
nobody needs to tell the Parkland survivors that their frustrations will remain and grow if no action is taken, if nothing in their country changes. the frustration will remain five, ten, fifteen years down the road, and longer. just like frustration does for the survivors of Las Vegas, Orlando, Sandy Hook, Columbine. for the loved ones of gun-related deaths that do not get widespread news coverage. for anyone who has ever known someone who has died because of guns.