It was early, but I planned on getting up at 4 AM CST on Saturday morning to watch history being made.
When Charles and Diana tied the knot in 1981, I was sixteen. The wedding events started around 3 AM CST. I was enthralled. It was a real life fairytale wedding. What’s a little lost sleep when you get to see something that magical?
As we all know, the marriage didn’t last — but Charles got his heir and a spare. 🙁
Fast forward forty-some-odd-years
and I thought I’d watch another historical event unfold with all the pomp and circumstance.
First of all, I was up all night with insomnia. This seemed — well, fortuitous. If ever there was a night to not be able to sleep, this was it. I’d have stayed up all night, too, except sleep kicked in hard about 3:10 AM. Right before I succumbed to la la land, I had two great realizations — I’m not sixteen anymore. It’s a good thing David set the TV recorder.
Around 6:45 AM, something spooked Lauren’s dog, Iggy Bean. I have no idea where our dog Buddy was, but he wasn’t barking; so, whatever was upsetting Iggy, it wasn’t coming from outside or from inside the house.
Iggy Bean, as sweet as she is, usually sleeps with Lauren in her room. Lauren, however, was out of town. She has a reputation for being a bed hog — Iggy that is. I have no idea whether Lauren’s a bed hog. Anyway, whenever Lauren’s gone, Iggy sleeps on the floor next to me, which she did. Until…
Iggy may have had a nightmare.
Or maybe she woke up and realized she wasn’t where she thought she should be. Or maybe she heard something. She has enhanced hearing due to the fact that she’s now blind. She hears better than Buddy. Whatever it was that upset her, she was on our bed shaking uncontrollably, panting and trying to get me up.
I pet, sang and talked softly to her. I hugged her so she’d feel safe. Okay — full confession: this dog eats cat shit. Not that she’d had any that day (I hope), but I never ever let her lick my face or under my chin. This morning was the exception, though. I was hoping that allowing her to lick my neck would make her feel better. It didn’t.
Then Iggy, who was between David and me, crawled above my head and burrowed into my hair. That wouldn’t have been the worst thing if she hadn’t tried to jump out of bed, above my head, still tangled up! I tried to keep her from going over the side, ripping hair out of my skull — all while yelling at David (who was doing a very poor imitation of sleeping) to help me. He got up and helped untangle Ig, who was still shaking.
Then he started walking toward the door.
“Where are you going?” I asked. “Aren’t you tired?”
“Yeah,” he said in resignation. “But who can sleep with that dog shaking like a vibrator?”
(I’m not sure that’s how I would have phrased that, but it was early, neither of us had had much sleep and she was — ahem — vibrating.)
I continued to try and calm Baby Girl. By 7:30, forty-five minutes into her uncontrollable shaking, I called Lauren. Ig was her dog. If David and I weren’t going to be able to sleep, then neither was she. (Not that I told her that.) I said, “Maybe the sound of your voice will soothe her.” Nothing I was doing seemed to help. So Lauren talked softly to Iggy Dog aka Piggy Princess, who continued to shake.
“How’s your day going?” I asked my daughter.
Oh, right. It was still early. Neither of us had caffeine in our systems yet. What a stupid question. We discussed what we’d planned on doing that day. She was going to relax poolside. David needed new sneakers. We’d be shopping later in the day. Honestly, I don’t remember what else we talked about. It wasn’t until Lauren and I were a solid ten to fifteen minutes into our conversation that Ig settled and, finally, went back to sleep. Only in my bed this time. I got off the phone with Lauren and got up. Even though I was exhausted, I couldn’t go back to sleep. I showered to get the smell of Iggy’s breath off me. After I dressed, Iggy reluctantly followed me into the living room.
David was watching what was left of the ceremonial festivities.
Bud had camped out on the floor next to him. By this time, it was after 8 AM. He said, “Are you ready to watch the Coronation? We have over four hours of it to see because I have hours of NCIS’s that I plan to record. We have to watch soon so I can delete it. Otherwise, I’ll run out of space on the DVR.”
I mumbled, “Let’s just watch whatever’s going on right now.” On TV, the King’s Guard were marching. Iggy was behind the recliner I’d settled into. It wasn’t long before the Royal Family came out onto the balcony. King and Queen were wearing their crowns. I wondered where Harry was.
You know how — when you drift off to sleep while the TV’s on, you start to incorporate whatever you’re hearing into your dream? Yeah, that happened. Only I was dreaming I was at a crime scene. I must have been lucid dreaming because I remember thinking, wait — why am I at a crime scene and not at Buckingham Palace?, which was what woke me up. It was then that I realized David had switched the channel to one of the NCIS’s he was starting to record. He’s currently on a NCIS kick. (Don’t get me started.)
Eventually, in the early afternoon, we watched the Coronation ceremony from the start.
As far as I’m concerned, it was all downhill after the Grim Reaper was spotted less than fifteen minutes into the recording. We watched that particular scene several times, even in slow motion. Omen or comedic relief?
Also, who knew pomp and circumstance could be so boring? I mean everything was super cool and extravagant, especially Westminster Abbey, but eventually, I started yawning.
Three hours into the recording, we’d had enough. As David deleted what we’d just watched, the TV reverted back to live TV.
That’s when we heard the news.
We don’t live far from the Allen Premium Outlet Mall. Matter of fact, David and I were going to head over to the Skecher’s store that day and get him new sneakers.
This news WOKE. ME. UP.
It’s Monday and we still have few details.
Another angry, frustrated young person, I suspect, wanting to go out of this world by taking as many with him as he could before committing suicide by cop. Call it what you want — evil, mental illness, sheer frustration, hatred, something else — the end result is always the same — tragic.
The difference between this mass shooting and all the others that we hear about on a now daily basis is that David and I had planned on being there that afternoon. But for the exhaustion we had from too little sleep, a too early morning courtesy of Iggy, and a need to watch a long recording so it could be deleted, we probably would have been.
We still need to go to Skecher’s.
My heartfelt condolences to all the victims and their loved ones of these mass shootings — past, present and future.
No music today.
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