October 13th has for the past thirty-seven years been excruciatingly painful for me. As many of you know that is the date of the Midtown High Bombing in Golgotha County, CT. It is the date that has devastated my life. My name is Cole Linder; October 13th, 2008 is the day I lost both my hearing and hands. For a very long time that was the date I gave up on the world, on humanity. Now it being the 37th anniversary of the bombing I have decided to release a journal entry of mine in honor of those who were murdered that day, and to those who have had their sanity robbed from them because of it. This journal entry is incredibly personal to me. I had been very hesitant to release it until now. I wrote the journal entry posted at the bottom of this introduction when I was sixteen, only months after the event. I know some of you are innocently asking yourselves, “How in hell does he write when he has no his hands?” I luckily have a dear friend of mine who offers me his time and writes down my thoughts. At the time when I wrote this journal I was still somewhat in shock. I don’t think I had fully understood what had happened that day, I was just writing to release emotion and make sense of it all.
Thinking you’ve gone deaf, gives you a sense of death. A glimpse of your inevitable future. For going deaf is not equivalent to death itself, but it is a foreshadowing feature to deaths quiet emptiness. The feeling of having sound permanently stripped from you is imprisoning. To look around and see commotion, life’s events flowing by you on mute, is absolutely frighteningly surreal. For the first couple of seconds you feel as if you have drifted into a dream, until your mind registers all the information and that dream turns into a dark nightmare.
2008 – December 1
Images were spinning uncontrollably at first. Each eyes 2D images struggling to align with the other. A dusty, chalky haze of debris covered every inch of the room. The plaster and brick of the wall found itself all over the classroom floor. All that was left of the walls were the metal supports holding the building up. The roomed looked like a cage, a prison. Debris grinded under my nails while I crawled in aimless circles. Only seconds had passed, but I already was noticing so much, most of it pain. The rest of my senses were confronted with confusion. With clouds of dust blocking my vision it was difficult to make out what was going on. My hearing was completely gone, in its place was a constant high pitch ringing. Time seemed to be lagged, like the worlds motions were slowed down by a five hundred ton weight. There was a gaping crater of rubble in the middle of the room. Red liquids were splattered along with thick skins across the crumbled walls and destroyed desks. The creases in my face seemed to be filled with cherry dark syrup. Through the haze I could make out other students yelling, but still couldn’t hear a thing. A boy ran from the room with something in his hand. It looked like a mangled limb, but that couldn’t have been right. Trying to pull together what was going on in my head seemed impossible. A searing pain throbbed in my head, sending crushing hurt throughout my body with every beat of my heart. I fumbled around on the broken floor until I got a hold of something to use to pull me up. Starring at the ground I saw my teacher, eviscerated and painted with the same syrup that lay in the creases of my face. An intense wave of light-headedness came crashing over me. Large hands gripped my shoulders and ripped me off my feet, taking me out of the classroom. Looking at it from the outside was petrifying. It had looked like a nuclear war had gone off inside a single room. What I thought was my classroom was a shattered hole of wreckage lying within the schools interior. The large hands began to viciously shake me. All I could focus on was the stampede of people pouring out of the exits. A stern smack hit me across the face, causing me to stare the person whom the large hands belonged to directly in the eye. I had never seen him before. He was tall, but not wide. He looked awkward for having such gigantic hands. His hair was brown and long, running down over his shoulders. He had a chain necklace dangling on his neck, but it seemed to have been broken. The chains link had been snapped in the center where a piece usually would hang. His mouth was shouting, but my world was blissfully quiet. A moment passed and I suddenly noticed he was screaming the word “BOMB!” My face dropped to the immediate realization of what had had been going on. All of the everything in my stomach began to slowly inch its way up my throat, as my stomach itself seemed to drop out my ass. With a painful swallow I resisted the urge to project the contents of my stomach all over the place. I could not comprehend how I didn’t piece together what had happened. I firmly stared my savior in the eyes to try and communicate to him that I couldn’t hear. Once again he quickly tugged my shoulders, bringing me to the exit.
I was thrown down the hill away from the school where the rest of the students remained. Still thrown back by the shock I couldn’t hold it back any longer. I threw up all that everything in my stomach. In the midst of my vomiting I caught a glimpse of the school. Smoke was billowing out all of the windows and doors. It had looked like war had struck Midtown High. I fell back onto the grass attempting to re-grasp reality. It was then that I had a chance to observe the true damage of the event. My surroundings consisted of wounded students covered in theirs and others blood and parts. Two more people franticly approached me, lifting me onto a stretcher. For some reason I did not have the strength in my body to formulate sentences or even words. They loaded me into an ambulance along with several other wounded. A woman paramedic in front of me was yelling something I obviously couldn’t hear. What seemed odd at the time though were her hand gestures. She was throwing her hands up, almost like you would to signal someone to stop. I took a glance down at myself for the first time. Images began to be incredibly hard to align again. My world was spinning rapidly out of control. My vision went in and out of blackness and blurs until I eventually passed out. There was blood splattered all across my arms. The ends of my arms had been ruptured, my hands were missing.
A troubled psychotic student who was in my class had decided to commit suicide that day. He had made a homemade explosive device that was strapped to his chest. This boys name was David Abraham. He had sat four desks away from me in my trigonometry class. In the midst of the lesson he set off his bomb that killed him along with murdering twenty-one other students. The explosion caused a section of the building to collapse and catch fire. I was one of the five survivors in the classroom. There had been a small piece of wall jutting out of the room that made a slight barrier between David and I. That wall was what had saved mine and the other four lives that day. Now I still wonder whether I was blessed or cursed.
David Abraham had always been a removed child who was unusually distant. He was the shadow of my class. The boy that crept the hallways trying to be invisible, but instead he stood out more than anyone else. David went through stages of anger. Like me he had lived in Midtown his entire life. In junior high he had been a target of everyone in school. He was considered “normal” you could say, though he was still the person that would be picked on relentlessly. Coming into high school David had become completely different. The clothes he wore changed from Old
Navy to scene. Not angry clothing that had “fuck the world” plastered all over it. He was more subtle about it.
After the date of the bombing a crumpled letter written by David was found discussing his suicide. In the letter he explained how he had gone through the process of creating the bomb and what he had intended to do with it. He also included why. Two weeks prior to the event he had be crucified by a fellow student of his. I don’t want to fully elaborate on what had been done to him because of the vulgarity. In short, David had been framed for doing something disgusting that he had not in actuality done. The act caused him endless humiliation along with several days of suspension. The reason for him setting off the explosive in school was to murder the student who had caused his humiliation, who had been humiliating him his whole life.
I was that student.