March 2021: "I'm going to the grocery store, I hope I don't get shot."
Yesterday afternoon a young man from Arvada brought a semi-automatic rifle to the south Boulder King Soopers grocery store and murdered 10 people. Wikipedia has a summary, or a quick search can find a lot of news reports.
I may have spent more time at the Table Mesa Shopping Center (site of the shootings) than any other commercial parcel. My very existence is thanks to my grandparents purchase of a home three blocks away when they retired from the Army. I spent the first month of my life in that house, so this King Soopers might've been the first super market I was ever inside. My grandparents later moved to the Meridian retirement community, the building right behind King Soopers. I spent three years of high school in the building next door to that, when New Vista High School was in the Paddock campus. We would occasionally decide to move class to Café Sole, students would grab lunch at King Soopers or a slice of pizza at Abo's. I spent hundreds of afternoons and weekends at Dragonfire Games playing cards. There was a laser tag arena there for a few years. Laser tag sessions were kind of pricey, so I only played a few times, but I did buy a super-lucky box of Middle-earth starter decks there once. I biked through the King Soopers parking lot to get to class in the morning, and along the edge of it on the way home. I remember buying Otter Pops and Henry Weinhard's Root Beer for D&D games at a friend's office in the Mock Realty building around the corner.
As an adult, I've bought beer at Pettyjohn's Liquor (not to mention the free cardboard boxes for moving). I've eaten breakfast, lunch, or dinner at almost every restaurant there, and it was at Southern Sun that I planned my first Burning Man trip with some old and new friends. That King Soopers was my main grocery store when I moved back to Boulder and lived in Martin Park, and one of my roommates was studying at the cooking school in the shopping center. I've still got clothes that I got when Savers was on the far side and I have clear memories of a couple trips to King Soopers.
Everyone processes a tragedy in their own way. A couple days ago I realized I needed granola, non-dairy Ben & Jerry's, and a few other items. We didn't get it done on Saturday, and Sunday was cold and snowy. Now I've got an odd determination to get to to the 30th Street King Soopers (my current main grocery store), in a completely mundane act of defiance. That's a defiant act for tomorrow, though. Today I had a meeting with Rep. Neguse's environment and climate aide. Then Kelly proposed that it might be nice to step out of the Boulder Bubble for a bit, so we drove down to Denver to buy some games and have a fantastic meal at Domo, which has a fantastically serene traditional Japanese setup. Not feeling like passing back through the membrane quite yet, we stopped at the Target in Superior and overcompensated on the Ben & Jerry's.