Thursday, March 30, 2006

Six People Danced All Night and Then Died In the Morning

Actually, I have been thinking, so I take that back. I've been thinking about this rave after-party in Seattle at which party-goers were shot and killed by Kyle Huff. My sister (not the one who stole my birth pictures and hasn't spoken to me since, but the other sister who is seven years younger than me) used to go to raves in Seattle in her wild and crazy days. She'd be gone all night. Once I arrived at my mom's duplex on a Saturday morning just as one of my sister's friends was leaving. The friend's black clothing contrasted with her painted white face and stark red lips. She looked more dead than alive. My sister knew this girl only from the raves and after the dancing to thumping electronic music, they'd made their way back from Seattle on the bus and slept a little in the wee hours of the morning.

(And if they thought we didn't notice that they were behaving strangely and dangerously and using crystal meth, they were sadly mistaken. Because rave = drug use no matter what you say.)

So the reason I keep thinking about Kyle Huff shooting all those ravers after he was invited to their after-party to hang out is that he could have shot my sister. She used to go home with people she didn't know and share needles with people she didn't know and drink alcohol with people she didn't know and then lie about it. I used to toss and turn at night, praying, worrying, wondering how she'd live through the choices she was making. I tried to stop her, but she wouldn't be stopped.

Two of the girls (ages 14 and 15) who were shot dead by Kyle Huff were much younger than the men who were shot. If news reports are to be believed, their parents knew they were going to a rave. They didn't know one of the girls would lose her friends and go home with strangers. That girl's dad didn't know she was missing until the next morning. But the parents knew what their kids were doing, staying out all night, partying. (I can't understand this. I know we are overprotective in many ways, but I believe strongly in boundaries for kids.)

This news story about the murders of six people plays in my head like a catchy tune stuck on repeat. Over and over and over again, shooting and dead bodies and the devastation in the rave community. (Did you know there was a rave community? I didn't.)

My sister, during those run-away days of Greyhound buses and needle tracks hidden by long sleeves, said to me once, "I just wish I was still grounded, at home in the living room." For only a short time before, she'd said to my dad, "I hate you! I wish you were dead!" And then he died when she was sixteen and she tasted the frightening freedom for which she'd yearned. And when the highs faded and the hangovers lasted longer than the fun, she changed her mind.

The consequences of the choices she made back in those days continue today, of course, even almost twenty years later. But at least she stopped before she was dead. Not all kids living more in the night-time than in the day are so lucky.

That's why I can't stop thinking about Kyle Huff and the six dead people (two of them only kids) and shots ringing out at 7:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning.

14 Comments:

Blogger Feeble Knees said...

I keep thinking I could have been one of those dead kids, because I lived quite the life too, back in the day. Looking back with my thirty-some-odd year old brain I can't believe some of the choices I made. Sometimes it seems I survived quite despite myself.

I'm glad your sister lived through it all. I am very, very sorry for those who did not.

5:58 PM  
Blogger WordsRock said...

I, too, am glad your sister survived the bad judgment of her youth. My own sister had an interesting ride also. Interesting being a kinder way to say completely out of control and self-destructive.

As I was reading the news about Kyle Huff and his murderous rampage, I was incensed at the father of the 14-year-old who not only allowed his daughter to attend such an event, but who did not even realize she was missing until the next morning.

Yes, children need boundaries. They deserve boundaries. As much as they need and deserve parents who have the common sense and strength to impose them.

Suzanne

6:49 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

It is heartbreaking... and terrifying... and it is one of those stories that makes me want to keep my kids home until I arrange their marriages.

I have so many "near miss" stories of my youth... I wasn't wild, just STUPID and lucky.

8:32 PM  
Blogger Gina said...

My parents would NEVER have let me attend something like that, and neither is Mr. Personality.

Why can't some parents parent?

10:10 PM  
Blogger Edna B said...

Ditto feeble knees. I was the same. Stupid and lucky. How awful for everyone concerned.

2:09 AM  
Blogger Paige said...

It is a horrible thing. The lost is so great to us all. Perhaps if lucky, this incidence may save another child from falling into this "party" scene.

4:47 AM  
Anonymous Stacy said...

I would never ever have been allowed to go anywhere, let alone a rave, that meant staying out all night, unsupervised, when I was 14 or 15. Ditto for my kids. I can't imagine throwing your kids to the wolves and not knowing.

4:51 AM  
Blogger Judy said...

I was about to say something totally different.

Then I remembered that my husband and I lost a kid one night.

We THOUGHT he had come home with his older brother and sister. But, he hadn't.

Thankfully, it ended well. But we had some VERY intense hours trying to track him down.

How is it that some people believe that nothing bad will ever happen to them, and then there are people like me who just assume that everything bad IS going to happen to them?

6:18 AM  
Blogger Jack-on-the-Lake said...

I never attended a rave but doesn't mean I didn't participate in stupidity. I also think about the numerous times I could have "not made it home."

Horrible tradgedy - hopefully some good awareness will come out of it.

6:25 AM  
Blogger jennifer starfall said...

wow. thanks for sharing that.

6:42 AM  
Blogger Praying for your Prodigal said...

Yes, "there but for the grace of God...go I."

These are the things nightmares are made of for those who love these kids...and kids like them.

Pray for their families!

Diane

7:38 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

My words feel horribly inadequate right now.

8:20 AM  
Blogger Shalee said...

How sad for those families. How sad that many parents today don't know how to raise their children and to stop living for themselves. How else do you explain that a dad wouldn't care about the whereabouts, conditions of said place or whether or not the girl comes home at a decent time?

As much as they want to appear grown up and ready for the world, they are still babes. And we would do good to remind them.

I am so relieved that your sister survived the "freedom". You are very blessed to count her among the living.

8:25 AM  
Blogger Tory said...

You know I've thought about this a lot. As a teacher I have HUGE issues with permissive parenting. I think it is reckless and gambles with the lives of children.

I've seen the papers say over and over again, "But no one could know that there would be a gunman that night" as if that were the only danger for a 14 or 15 year old girl in an all night party full of strangers. No, no one could know that a gunman would walk in and open fire.

But here's what we do know.

Raves are notorious for drug use. Period. So there's danger number one.

There are no laws separating older men from younger girls at raves. Danger number two. Now why in the world a 28 year old man would WANT to party with 14 year old girls boggles my mind. But let's just say that's probably not a very "safe" situation.

No parental supervision at these parties...and my guess is they aren't mainlining cake and ice cream. What do parents believe that their daughters will be doing at an all night rave party in Seattle? Reading Bible stories and baking cookies? So obviously there is going to be underage drinking. Danger number three.

Downtown Seattle...even I walk with a brisk step when I'm in the Capitol Hill area. Heck, I was there Saturday night and an obviously inebriated crazy man tried to give me a dead flower and touch me. I'd say that for a 14 year old girl, that might be considered danger number four.

So lets leave the gunman out of this...even if there had been no gunman these parents (if you can call them that, since the term parent suggests actual "parenting" going on) allowed their naive (hopefully), young (obviously), stupid (in the sense that let's face it, all 14 and 15 year old girls are stupid), unsophisticated, over confident children...let me repeat CHILDREN...attend an all night party with INHERENT dangers. I'm sorry, you do not have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that while no one can predict a gunman, that other dangers are pretty damned predictable!

I'm sorry, those kids are dead not because of Kyle Huff, but because their parents did not do their jobs. They did not protect and nurture their daughters in the way they DESERVED. Now they will have to live with that the rest of their lives, and the rest of us will be left with righteous indignation that this happened.

Ahem...this is definitely blogable. Must go blog this on my blog.

5:15 PM  

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