Our First Town Shooting, Part Three
2019-01-12, 5:54 p.m.
Saturday was a pretty normal day. Didn’t seem like anything had happened. I went to the gym. I went to the Craft Center and worked a shift. I went out to Elk Grove to try to find some hard-to-find craft supplies. I came home and started making lunch for the next day since I was going to be working through lunch at the CC the next day as well. Around..I think it was 6:24, Mom texted me to ask if I was at the memorial. What memorial? Apparently it was on Facebook that there was going to be a vigil for the police officer at 6 p.m. downtown tonight and of course she heard this from her boyfriend who heard this from his son who was at the memorial.* I of course felt guilty for not being there, but was in the middle of using the oven to make lunch and had to wait until that was done before I could turn it off and pack up and go. I found the Facebook page and it said they were expecting a few thousand people at a candlelight vigil and would go for three hours. It was bring your own candle, apparently, so I fished out one of the LED ones I had left over from menorah making.
* Seriously, all of this degrees of separation stuff is just weird. Especially coming from someone I should probably be associating with but am not because he doesn’t wanna. My attitude about this is so "whatever, I am outta care" these days, but somehow I doubt this kind of thing is happening in reverse to him, you know?
I thought it had ended by the time I was getting there (around 6:45 p.m.) because I saw people walking back from it and wondered if I should just turn back. But no, it was still going. With probably the most amount of people I have seen in that park at any time. This is probably the most people I’ve ever seen in one bunch here except for Picnic Day. Fire trucks were parked along the street, news vans along the back. Probably every cop who could come was there.
I actually ended up being able to move pretty close to the stage area, where various cousins/friends/acquaintances of Natalie were speaking, along with her police colleagues. I liked that someone said that she had “a smile that pissed you off,” which I think meant that she was naturally cheerful. She sounded like it. She sounded diehard about being a police officer and had been doing her best to get in--at one point breaking both shins and delaying her entrance to the academy for six months because she worked that hard. There were a lot of stories about her relating to food, like her wanting to pay for other people’s lunches or times when she was barfing but then went on. Someone reported that she had said that if she got shot on the job, at least she died doing what she loved. Another person reported that the powers that be at the police academy had tried to talk her into quitting and she literally stared them down for two hours and refused to budge. She also helped people out on Pepper Spray Day, when they all get sprayed in the face. Her best friend said that they’d had a sleepover the night before she died and were talking about their fears and the best friend had said she was afraid of being alone. Natalie told her she’d never be alone.
Some emergency happened in town during the memorial and the fire trucks had to take off and police sirens were going off during it. I couldn’t help but wonder.
After that I went to look at the memorial wall, which had candles, the now-famous dead cop memorial photo she had posed for, a signed photo, a wreath, and Cokes and M&M’s. I overheard a guy behind me say that he had literally just started at the police academy this week and how Natalie had been interested in that and encouraging him. She sounded like a really cool person and we have all lost out on her by this.
Why is it the good ones who go.
Why did this guy randomly decide that shooting a cop was a good idea and going to solve his “sonic waves” situation?
We’ll probably never know.
After this I had to talk to Jackie, who was freaking out because once again she has been done out of a contract job before her contract was supposed to run out, this time because they said she didn’t produce any work. Apparently her boss went on medical leave for almost all of the time she worked there and the coworker that was supposed to be helping her refused to and screwed her over. Jackie works in the tech industry and at this point I’m not even surprised to hear shit like this any more because it sounds like all of her jobs have shitty people at them who are always screwing each other over because they are trying to get permanently hired. (Apparently this coworker also claimed it was racist to get a teapot for Christmas from Jackie. I’m not sure how that works when both come from heritages where people drink a lot of tea.)
She said she likes the type of work she does, but wonders if she should be looking in different fields and I said hell yes, anything else can’t hurt to try at this point. She said everywhere she goes everyone is cutthroat and asshole and I said well, maybe in the Bay Area/your field, but I can say in my field we only have a few assholes like that and MOST of us are nice. Though god knows if your coworkers hate you, it will harm your career, as I know all too well. Or in the case of someone else I know, if your boss is gone for months when you’re new, that will too.
I am sorry she is out of work again, but in all honesty after spending the night hearing about someone being killed at age 22, well, that kind of put things in perspective a bit.