Navy jets are a fixture in the yard. Their roar punctuates life in Virginia Beach, which is home to Naval Air Station Oceana.
Today, one of the jets crashed. A fiery crash involving apartment buildings. I keep turning the news on, then turning the news off.
I don’t know this instinct, can’t name the impulse that forces me to look and look away and look again. It’s a sour, hollow place in my chest. Cold hands and burning eyes and a restless path from kitchen to television to yard to office to kitchen. It’s a dark weight in my mind, an unfocused pall of helplessness.
For lack of a better word, it’s grief. But why? The accident doesn’t belong to me. And yet I feel an urge to own it, to fold it into my life alongside all the other things that don’t belong to me but touch me anyway.