It’s quiet here.
Quiet’s not good in a newsroom. Quiet is the sound of tragedy. It’s the sound of crisis. It’s when reporters and editors clench their jaws and squint. Newsrooms are really nothing like TV and the movies paint them. They’re irreverent, noisy and fairly boring offices these days. Except for now. This is what is sounds like after The Bomb goes off in your backyard.
And it has. A bomb of evil exploded at the movie cinema across the street from here. The massive mall there, usually crawling with traffic, is empty of everything except for the fallout of police and federal investigators. They’re looking for evidence from last night’s insanity where a 20-something grad student turned a midnight show of a Batman premier into something scarier than what was on the screen.
After a couple of decades of professionally watching Aurora go by, I didn’t think anything could faze me. I know the drill. There was the Chuck E. Cheese’s massacre. Shootings at the Aurora Mall, Aurora parks, Aurora schools. There was the Labor Day massacre. There was Columbine. There’s been a world of evil deeds dispatched from my keyboard.
But this, this is different. It was a movie theater. It was relentless terrorism. It was right here — again. This, this is a game changer.
The phone keeps ringing. It’s the world, wanting to know the temperature here in Hell. It’s not so much that it’s hot, but that it’s quiet. And quiet is bad.