We’re so honored to have Beth’s essay “Die Die Die,” from her new collection Anxious Attachments, featured on Terrain.org. This essay displays how seamlessly Beth can weave together the personal and the political. Below we’ve included a short excerpt, but please visit Terrain.org to read the full piece.
It was 1980, I’m going to guess. I had the news on while I was making dinner, so I must have been listening while I cooked and then peering into the living room to see specific coverage. We had a very small black-and-white TV then, one I could put into the closet when I got tired of its noise. I remember Michael was sitting rock-still in front of it. He turned to me and asked, with quite a bit of anguish for a five-year-old, “Why is it men who always do the bad things?”
This was long before any of us could ever have imagined someone going into a school with an assault weapon and shooting children. I mean, there was that one white guy in 1966 who’d climbed up the bell tower in Austin and opened fire on the students, killing 14 and wounding more, and then in 1970 the National Guard had killed four student protestors at Kent State, and the Mississippi State Police had killed two at Jackson State. Still, those seemed isolated incidents, nothing like the regular fare since Columbine.
Now we say: Where? And: How many this time? And: How old?