A Note About the Attack on My Hometown

Buffalo — 05.14.22

John Gorman
9 min readMay 18, 2022


Photo by Jonathan Rivera on Unsplash

[*deep breath*]

This isn’t an essay. This won’t be edited or even read before I post. I’m not offering the definitive take, nor a particularly novel one. I’m ruminating from a perspective I specifically have because of where specifically this happened.

[Of paramount importance, though, and since I’m writing the beginning of this at the end, I must say this sea-of-consciousness did not turn out how I thought it would, and many of the thoughts, words, and occasionally even rhythm of this piece owe a considerable debt to pan-African writers and thinkers, Black people more generally, and elements of Black art, storytelling, and culture, including but not limited to James Baldwin, Maya Angelou, bell hooks, Stokley Carmichael, and W.E.B. Du Bois, as well as Buffalo’s own India Walton. Any exact lifts are purely coincidental and corrections and citations will be annotated post-publish.]

Should you wish to help those more personally affected, you can do so here.

Alright, let’s talk about Buffalo.

I have a lot on my mind and in my heart but nothing elegant to say. It’s no picnic to see your hometown become the latest hashtag, and that’s to say nothing about how these terrorist attacks never get any easier in general, much less hear that this isn’t even the first or second or even third establishment I’ve set foot in that would later become some Doom-3D fodder for some anonymous nothing barely old enough to work the Taco Bell Drive-Thru, who decided to spend his off-hours LARPing as a brownshirt.

None of what I’m capable of saying on this platform will be easy to write or hear, and I fear it won’t be eloquent enough or right enough for the moment, and I know it’ll contain stray pot-shots and cuss words. It feels raw. I feel conflicted. It aches the way a phantom limb might. That’s what violence does when it’s done the way this was, and when you observe it from exactly the distance away that I am. When it comes to your home, but you’ve left. When it hits a community that welcomed you, but not the community you belong to. The violence that hits exactly there, exactly now, brings with it a sense of urgency without clarity — and prompts a tidal wave of thought without a drop of focus.



John Gorman

Yarn Spinner + Brand Builder + Renegade. Award-winning storyteller with several million served. For inquiries: johngormanwriter@gmail.com