In the last year of high school I met Orlando, not quite real, a creature in a book by Virginia Woolf. A classmate, proud in her teenage Catholicism, declared that there was a mistake in the middle of the book. The teacher asked what she meant. She said, The character changed gender, from one to the next, there had been a mistake, a misstep. The certainty in her voice, so confident. A mistake, a wrong. My hand heavy on my book, protecting it. I held the beauty of the scene in my hand. The silver trumpets. Woolf’s moment torn out any book. Orlando changed. He turned. One thing to the next. Orlando was unimaginably beautiful, they escaped me. I didn’t retread Orlando for years, like a sacred place. I have no sense now of what Orlando looked like, just my sense of a body exploding. The room was silent. Something was starting. How when the the gunfire started they thought it was part of the music.

the largest gun massacre happened this weekend in a gay club called Pulse in Orlando Florida



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