I hate April. I have for years. This week only solidifies how much fear and loathing I experience every calendar year when this bastard month rolls around; it’s gotten to the point where I can’t even enjoy my birthday any more, considering I share it with Adolph Hitler of all people.
It’s not just that one of the most notorious dictators of the 20th century was born in April, as there seems to be a preponderance of terrible events that happen this month. Let’s not even get into the events of the Boston Marathon earlier this week, or draw attention to the massive fertilizer plant explosion either; April has historically been the month for assassinations and mass killings. Both Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. were killed by assassination in April, but the veritable shotgun blast of evil that occurred at the turn of the 20th century absolutely cemented April’s place in American history, and particularly this week of April as well.
It all started 20 years ago. It was a day before my fifteenth birthday when the news of the Waco Massacre broke, leaving 76 people dead. Kind of puts things in perspective, especially for a teenage version of me that was already spending way too much time in introspection than was healthy or natural. Then, just two years later on the same exact day came the Oklahoma City bombing, which took the lives of 168 people and made me feel like a complete asshole for celebrating my 17th birthday the day afterwards. Five days later on the 24th, just while I was starting to feel less guilty about being celebratory in the face of such rampant death and destruction, the Unabomber claimed his last victim, leaving his tally at three killed and 23 injured.
It didn’t stop there, of course. For most people your 21st birthday is a true reason to celebrate, as you’ve finally reached legal adulthood: you can finally have a damn beer without having to worry about literally being branded a criminal, regardless of whether you can be a responsible drinker or not. Well, it’s sure hard to celebrate this major milestone when the Columbine Massacre happens the same exact day. Is it any wonder that I get jumpy and nervous every year around this time?
Please, be careful this weekend. I know that we’ve had one hell of a week so far, but it’s not over yet; keep your head down and stay safe.