Wednesday, November 11, 2009


We killed a man tonight. We called him the sniper. Easier that way, put a label on him, let go of the name his mother gave him, let go of his pain, his life.

He did horrible things, so many suffered, many enduring pain and loss that is unimaginable. More of us suffered smaller discomforts – fear of gassing our cars, of going shopping, of … living our lives.

So we killed him. Our society, our culture, our fear, all that shaped him, that taught him how to kill.

I do not know the man. Guess I need to rephrase that I did not know this man, John Allen Muhammed. I know he had parents, family, people like us. He was sick and he killed.

I thought of him tonight. Could not watch the hype on TV, just took out my guitar at 7pm, like I hope they (us) would let me on my last day if our fear had caught up with me. After my final meal, after family, if there was any, had to leave. I wrote a piece, perhaps his piece,a piece he will not hear. I was able to get lost in the sound of my strings, listening, following where the notes wanted to go. Grateful I could forget what we were about to do. I wanted to hold what he might be feeling, what I might be feeling if it was me watching my final moments tick away. But then it was time to join my wife. As I put away my guitar I wondered what it would be like to know that I was wiping down my guitar strings for the final time. Closing my case, now a casket of memories.

At 8:45 EST my wife and I quietly sat. Images of ‘the snipers’ acts flowed into my mind. I wondered how he was feeling? What it would be like to count my final breaths … Then I found my breath, my mind slowed; I sent him good wishes. I sent the families and friends of his acts love and understanding. I saw him walking his final steps with our officers of the law holding him, guiding him on his walk with justice.

Again I found my breath. At 9:06 EST I sensed that his life was over as I looked at the clock. I do not know how long we take to kill someone, but I knew that his bowels had evacuated, his blood stilled, his breath no more. His curtain had been drawn, yet we are still on the stage.

9:40 pm EST November 10, 2009


  1. If I knew it was my last day, I would want to be with someone I loved and knew loved me. To be alone in heart, and live, would be worse than death. I hope he found peace on the other side. I don't believe it is anyone's right to take a life in the name of justice.

  2. If it was my last day, I would want to be with someone I love and knew loved me.

    I don't believe it is anyones right to take a life in the name of justice. I hope he found peace on the other side and that those he hurt found peace on this one. You gave him a precious last gift with your music, even though he didn't know it.