Monday, January 28, 2008

This Post Has Nothing to Do with Writing

"You don't have to suffer to be a poet. Adolescence is enough suffering for anyone." ~John Ciardi

Yesterday I sat down and opened up the Sunday paper to find this horrific article:

1 Teen Dead, 1 Critical in Fall

One teenager died and another was critically injured when they climbed onto the roof of an elementary school early yesterday morning and fell 33 feet through a domed skylight, police said.

L.B. , 15, and N.M., 18, fell through the skylight around 2:45 a.m. and landed in the gymnasium below at A.S.K.E. School. The fall marked a tragic end to a night of youthful mischief, during which the teens had been drinking alcohol, police said.

Sometime in the early morning hours, [the girl] and three of her girlfriends sneaked out of a sleepover party. They met two boys at the elementary school. Two of the girls, who were not named because of their age, left the group while the others stayed.

The two girls and two boys stacked plastic milk crates, climbed them and then used an air-conditioning unit to hoist themselves onto the roof, police said. L. and M. split from the other two teens. Each group traveled in separate directions on the roof.

After 20 minutes, they called each other on cell phones and decided to meet on the roof. But L. and M. never showed up. Their two friends found the broken, 4-by-4-foot skylight. M. called his friend to say he had fallen and was injured, police said. Foot patterns left on the roof indicate the pair had been sitting on the skylight when it broke.

***

And all I could think was, There but for the grace of God go I.

I mean, we all did something stupid like that when we were kids, didn't we? Sneak out, or drink underage, or break curfew, or meet a boy who was older than we were, or be someplace we weren't supposed to be? One of the police officers at the scene said, "Nothing involved in our investigation shows there were any criminal intentions or attempts to break in...It was just kids being kids, and it's tragic.""

We can make a thousand arguments: that the parents should have known she was sneaking out, that they shouldn't have been drinking, that they were trespassing, etc. I still agree with the cop: it was such a typical teenage thing to do. (Though personally, I don't know if I would have been sitting ON TOP OF a skylight, and I don't know that any amount of alcohol could have kept me outside on a rooftop when it was sub-20 degrees.) Still, I think we're remarkably lucky, most of us, that we get to live through our mistakes and learn from them.

I'm so sad for the kids and their families.

###

In other, unrelated news, did anyone see this article from a couple of weeks ago?

Marriage Annulled After Separated Twins Marry

Twins separated at birth have married each other without realizing they were brother and sister, it has been revealed.

The British couple's marriage has now been annulled by the High Court after judges ruled the marriage had never validly existed.

The identities of the brother and sister and details of how they fell in love and married are being kept secret. Soon after they were born they were separated and adopted by different families.

Neither was told they had a twin and had no idea they were blood relatives until after their wedding.

***

Good God, can you imagine? Yet I also thought, what a perfect twist for a plotline. Truth is definitely stranger than fiction; you can find fodder for stories just about anywhere you look!

6 comments:

Marianne Arkins said...

And people ask questions like, "Where do you get your ideas?"

And, yeah... very sad about those kids. Very sad.

Sarita Leone said...

So sad about those kids. Really tears at my heart.

windycindy said...

I am the mother of two teenage boys and stories like this really frighten me. I try very hard to let go and let God! I had not hear either of these stories. Truth is stranger than fiction! Thanks,Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

Diane Craver said...

How tragic this happened and my heart goes out to the parents.

Mel said...

If all the dumb things I did as a teenager turned sour, I'd be dead a million times over. I was lucky, blessed, what have you. That is so sad. My heart goes out to the family and even the friends of the hurt and deceased teens. Something like that is bound to change your life.

And the second story...that's just weird. I'd want to rip my skin off after finding out I married my BROTHER. Ick! But I bet they were thinking, "no wonder we had so much in common."

LaskiGal said...

I was such a nerd or goody goody (is that the term), all thanks to Sesame Street. There was a cartoon with a little girl and a balloon. She imagined the consequences of her popping the balloon (grandma is scared and rocks her chair on the cat's tail, the tail causes the mom to drop dishes, the dropping of the dishes . . . and so on). This is why I will always be known as an over thinker.

I heard about the other story. Sad . . . love or not, it would be really, really hard to get over that whole bro/sis thing. Yikes . . . two sad, unfortunate stories.