The View from a Drawbridge

The random musings of a bridgetender with entirely too much time on her hands.

A friend of mine recently shared a link to an article entitled, “Black woman attacked by men wielding lighter fluid, racial slurs”, and I was horrified by it. Four men, with a squirt bottle of lighter fluid, doused this girl’s face and neck and then set her alight. I mean, they lit this girl, this total stranger, on fire.

Here’s what I really can’t comprehend about hate crimes, especially ones this horrific: how do you live your life after doing these things? Seriously. You are now a person who has set someone on fire. This is now an indisputable fact about you. There’s no getting away from that.

What’s next? Do you go to McDonalds and order yourself a happy meal? Do you go home and binge watch Game of Thrones? Do you look in the mirror while flossing your teeth? Are you going to put, “I permanently disfigured someone” on your resume? Where do you go from there?

I get it. Alcohol was involved. I get it. This was a radical right hate group. I get it, these were 4 white boys in that stupid zone between age 15 and 25. But at the end of the day, and for the rest of their lives, they’re 4 guys who just set someone ablaze. She will have to live with those undeserved scars, whereas the self-inflicted stains on those horrible boys’ very souls will be detectible by them alone.

Is it really possible to find your way through life without a moral compass? Is it possible for 4 guys, completely devoid of guilt or shame, to have found each other, and the result of that relationship was this scheme? Do you really fill up a squirt bottle with lighter fluid while thinking, “Yeah, this is a very good idea!”

How does that work? Animals. May they never experience a single good second for the rest of their miserable existence. If there is a hell, they’ll be burning there someday.

And after I wrote this, a guy intentionally mowed down two protesters in the interstate here in Seattle. And so it goes. On and on…


A big thanks to StoryCorps for inspiring this blog and my first book.

One thought on “How Do You Live with Yourself?

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