Matt and I were sad to be stuck home while the rest of the band enjoyed the regional burn festival, Element 11. Unfortunately the band could not play, as they had planned, without him. Although I had put in my request for the days off months in advance, my employer decided against granting them.
I have to admit I wasn't so jealous anymore when we got the text from Glen: "Someone pulled a Cherub last night." Clarification: Someone committed suicide by fire.
Many of our friends, including Matt's bandmates, were first hand witnesses, and spent the rest of the time at the festival in shock and grieving. Band practice Sunday night was cancelled.
It didn't do any good for people still grieving for Cherub (Sean Romero) to witness a death so similar to his.
It didn't do anyone at all any good to find an insulting article online claiming the tragedy was a "Human sacrifice at a pagan festival." There were more Bible verses than anything approaching the truth in it, and many people were disgusted by the attack on innocent, grieving people and the tragic loss of a life.
I won't post that here. I made the mistake of posting it on Facebook, which only gave them more publicity, and I regret that.
But here's a link to a reputable news source:
Keene posted this painfully poetic note on Facebook:
to take my friends out to have a good time at a giant festival. Then we
get to see someone jump into the fire. Saw the body burn. Watched the
firemen trying desperately to put out the flames. Saw the firemen and
police hold up a cloth as they carried the body out in pieces.
Walked around in a daze. Stumbled upon a man sobbing bitter tears on the floor, and hugged him for hours. People everywhere
trying to save a party that died with the fire. The temple, usually
empty, was filled to the brim with people praying, crying, staring. The
occasional laugh heard around the camp would pierce the silence
My words fail me. I cannot speak. I can barely move
without flooding myself with pain and emotions and memories. I just want
to sleep. I can't look my friends in the eye. The image, the music, the
screams and the silence, all fill my head. Stepping in the water that
drained away from the fire, and wondering how much of him was in it.
Even in my dreams, the images chase me from room to room, jumping from
story to story as I flee the nightmares."
We're at a loss, again.