I seem to have this staggering ability, in my mind, to go from a perfectly normal, free association of harmless, random thoughts to dark, disturbing images and unimaginable grief. You see, I was riding my bike home yesterday, and at one point, some kinda weird-looking guy who wasn't really paying attention to where he was going walked out onto the path I was on. He didn't even really see me.
But then I thought that might be the type of guy to randomly attack me in broad daylight on my bike. So then this whole scenario starts playing out in my mind. This guy comes out of nowhere and starts stabbing me and of course I fall onto the ground and he keeps attacking me and I'm screaming but by the time someone hears my cries for help it's too late because my wounds are fatal and I'm bleeding out on the bike path.
Then, I imagined horrified bystanders taking pictures and posting them on Twitter: "Random violent attack in public park! Holy shit! Someone call 911!". Then, I imagined my boyfriend and stepdaughter at home, wondering when I'll get back from work, thinking: "Hm, it's getting kinda late. Where is she?" Then my stepdaughter sees something on Twitter. "It couldn't be" she thinks to herself. More time passes and still I don't arrive home. Sirens are heard in the distance.
Eventually, two police officers show up at my house. They found my ID in my blood soaked backpack. Inexplicable grief and shock grab hold as the reality of this random attack sinks in. Brave citizens chase my attacker into a neighboring subdivision and apprehend him. The late-night newscast reveals that I am the victim, next-of-kin having been notified of my untimely demise. There is a candlelight vigil that night on the very spot where I was attacked. People are now determined to "take back the park".
The following day, the story is everywhere. A city is in shock. "DEADLY ATTACK" is strewn across the front page of the newspaper. My work colleagues are huddled in small groups, crying and consoling each other. A few days later, hundreds of people attend my funeral, so touched were they by this horrible crime.
At this point, I realize I've made myself cry with all these mind machinations and am thankful the house is empty when I get home because, umm, crazy much? Otherwise, it might have gone something like this: "Why are you crying, honey?" "Oh, I was just imagining this whole scenario where I get murdered in broad daylight on the way home."
This is why I don't watch the news.