“So James, how close do you work to the place that got attacked?”


That close.

To be clear, I don’t work here every day. My employer sends me all over Central Florida. I wasn’t here when Omar Mateen screamed “Allahu akbar” and blasphemed his faith, and I don’t want to make a big political argument about guns or militant Islam.

I just want to keep things simple and tell you what’s been going on it Orlando.

The FBI has left, but the police are keeping the actual plot of land secure and there are still news vans in the area. When the FBI was here, blocks of downtown were locked down. People created their makeshift memorials as close as the authorities would allow — such as this one:


I previously wrote that I had no idea Pulse was an LGBT club, not that it mattered. I have purchased donuts for ungrateful coworkers at the shop next door.

I knew one of the deceased, albeit very little. I knew people who ran when they heard gunfire.

Billboards across the city rotate flashing hashtag affirmations about how strong we are and how we are united and have pride. Maybe we do. We no longer appear to be in shock. Considering much of this area is based on tourism, and therefore weren’t actual Orlando residents, how shocked were we in the first place? The Florida Mall was pretty full the day after the attack.

To be frank, I would prefer #OrlandoSafe to #Orlando(whatever), but I can’t see that happening anytime soon.