Morning commutes are spent on bicycles with headphones piping in podcasts into my ear holes. News ingestion occurs from 9-6 in the form of a social media feed scrolling on the right side of my computer screen. I stopped listening to news on the way in since I preferred a slightly more meditative two-wheeled journey into the office before being bombarded by media behind a desk.
When I turned on my computer, immediately an IM blipped up into my view. My co-worker informed me of a shooting in Denver. I hadn’t heard. I’d removed myself from the news last night and missed the tragedy that struck during a midnight showing of a damn Batman movie.
A cellphone video posted on CNN showed people exiting the theater–pixelated footage of stunned patrons shuffling by with blood-stained shirts. But it was a kid in a full-on Batman costume standing confused in the background that caught my eye and made my heart ache.
I laughed while simultaneously tearing up.
I desperately love and respect dedication to something that may seem strange to others. Caring about something so much, being swept up by excitement, insecurities or fear of judgment is nonexistent.
That young person thought he was in a safe place. Not only a safe place to freely show his loyalty to his hero in full Batman regalia, but basic human movie theater safety.
That head-to-toe rubber superhero costume complete with cape, boots, and a helmet-like mask still firmly secured to this young person’s head equaled everything good in the world.
How dare his hero be tainted and his memories be soiled.
+ + +
Tonight I’m seeing a talented friend record her stand up comedy album. My date for the evening is coincidentally someone who experienced the Jonesboro, Arkansas playground shooting first-hand.
Time heals. Laughter heals. We’ll get through this together and remember Batman’s still a hero.