There is a young girl missing. She goes to the same high school as my son. 17, beautiful, smart, and by personal account of someone who knows her well- a woman I know who works at Starbucks and whose daughter is a good friend of hers- funny as hell and just as sweet. She plays French horn. A cross country runner, she parked her car near canyon trails by my home and took off: 2pm. No one has seen her since. Her cell phone was left in her car.
Once you have children, you are exposed tendon and bone to the air. You realize, as if you were birthed along with them in that blood and pain and tears of joy, that if something horrible happened to them, something horrible happened to you, and not simply in your emotions- i feel sad, i feel lost- but in your very concept of existence. Is life worth living when something so horrible happens that Earth is not Earth, but a place where you suffer the most unbearable of agonies: the inability to protect your child from great and unbearable pain. Perhaps I am not making sense. Perhaps I am lost in these words, somewhere back when I began and wrote ' something horrible happened to them... ' Perhaps as soon as the reality of this kind of suffering brushes my shoulders, I am borne back into the greatest suffering I have so far known, my childhood suffering, and then I realize that like childbirth, that was not the worst pain, not close: no, the pain of this young woman's parents is going to grow to a point so unbearable that they will wish to die.
Whatever we are made of- body, soul, mind- none of these three escape this agony and transformation; transmutation. I can feel myself changing simply by imagining it. As a mother, you imagine disaster. As a person who has experienced real suffering as part of my coming of age, I imagine it even more so- so aware as I am of it's reality and possibility. And then as a novelist, I imagine it in a way that turns my stomach, ruins the bowels, and left me tonight in Target crying while holding Lola's hand and moving past the sign that holds this girl's bright, shining face and open eyes, blue and wide, a smile and eyes made for open American fields and the endless possibilities of youth and good health and intelligence and a heart that has been good and loved and full. I can look at her face and see this. I can look at the slender turn of her left ear, exposed by the soft tucking in of blonde hair behind her ear, a gesture I know her mother will think of and crave the way you crave water, or food, or air.
They have not found a thing.
Please pray for her. Here.