ambience courtesy of Lewis Black...
i made it in to work today. in retrospect, going in to work yesterday would have been better than staying home. at least i would have been around real live people, rather than alternately glaring and sobbing at the television and feeling empty, washed of emotion, numb.
the first thing i did when i got in today was apologize to my boss, who was worried when he couldn't find me as they were closing the building Tuesday. i was only thinking about finding a working phone, and being with friends. he was worried about my safety, and that i'd left one of my bags in the office. it's a gym bag that i haven't touched in months. but he didn't know.
and work goes on, albeit more quietly. it surprised me that people were snappy - shouldn't we all be a bit kinder these days? but we all find our own ways of dealing with emotional defense. i started a few conversations over again today when i found myself snapping back.
the grief counselors were in yesterday to help people cope. please keep myra and graham, and their families, in your prayers.
there were some small bits of good news. a friend - a pilot - who normally flies one of the routes is on the ground and safe. and it turns out that my friend mark is not related to one of the pilots who did die. small comfort, as the man still has a family. and my bro got ahold of his friend who does (did) work on the 10th floor of the WTC. he had stayed up far too late the night before, playing poker and partying, and missed his regular train. sometimes, running late is a blessing.
but another friend heard that two people he used to Morris dance with were on the plane. it scares me that we'll be hearing stories like this for months, as we all collect together the scattered pieces of our lives.
mom called this morning to check in. she said 'now i think i know a little how your grandmother must have felt after Pearl Harbor.' and it's true, a bit, i guess. senseless loss of life, on a scale that none of us are familiar with... but it's different in some important ways. that war, at least, was fought by opponents with faces. you knew who was attacking you, and why. the rules of engagement, such as they are, were followed.
this... this is different. it's more like Vietnam. the motives are murky, the opponent not clearly defined. we jump quickly to put a name, a face, a cause behind the death and carnage, because we want this to be comprehendable. and Bin Laden may, in fact, be involved. but we've been quick to assign blame without facts. and that scares me.
it scares me for the same reason i had the overwhelming urge to reach thru the screen and strangle the living shit out of Lawrence Eagleburger the other night. he said, and i loosely quote, 'kill someone. anyone.' NO. because you know what, you fat fucknut? that makes us the same as them. yes, there should be retribution. but undirected/misdirected violence is not right. it will only result in more senseless deaths. as someone noted the other night, an eye for an eye for an eye will only leave us all blind.
that being said, i do think that those responsible should pay with their lives. and it feels horrible to say that. i don't even believe in the death penalty. but the enormity of this... boggles the mind and provokes intense reactions. and it's hard to know what to do with them.
i worry about my friends who will be flying soon. the near police state of security that will be present at airports when they repoen is only a small piece of reassurance. banning knives everywhere? fine. i'll eat my steak with my fingers if need be. but when you think that a razor blade and some duct tape will make as effective a weapon as what the hijackers appear to have used... it's small comfort.
and you know? i'm there with the 'defend America' thing. hell, jenn sent me a note about wearing red white and blue today. i got as far as blue and white. a poorly planned pasta lunch provided the splash of red. ;)
but we are not a blame free nation. we are not the pure and shining pillar of sacred democracy that some think. we are a nation with faults. anyone who thinks otherwise is naive. i don't follow a lot of international politics, but i've read enough to know that our 'intervention' is sometimes bull headed and not appreciated. when you ride in like the calvary, hoping for the smell of napalm in the morning, and ride roughshod over situations that you have little local understanding of to force the outcome you see as right, you piss people off. and you make enemies. and they will strike back, where they can.
listening to Peter Jennings last night was interesting. he worked so long outside the US that he sees a lot of the outside perspective. hearing him talk was a good reminder that we are but one part of a global community.
don't get me wrong. i'm not defending the terrorists or whomever is responsible. but it's important to understand where this hatred comes from. because, outside of any military action we might take, that understanding is the only way to start working towards true peace. we can't continue to be cowboys. there needs to be some more global understanding.
and i hope that Shrub sees that. frighteningly enough, i've found myself agreeing with him the last few days. *small red stars exploding* never thought that would happen. and he's seemed sort of presidential. odd. BTW, has anyone seen Cheney recently? (if he wasn't a bid dodgy in the heart before...) and Powell... seems like the right man for the job, right now. here's hoping that he's the voice of reason and takes the time to do some analysis.
right! that's what i meant to say. we are an impatient people. we want instant gratification. an outgrowth of our media saturated age, i think. as one of my fave comics pointed out the other night, ADD seems to have become prevalent soon after the invention of the remote control. but. but take the time to think about this. do it right. i don't care if it takes weeks, months, a year - if we are going to make someone pay, make sure it's the right people.
*sigh* another thing that came up, talking with mom - i told her two people in my office died, and she started crying, as did i. but i feel guilty talking about it. it seems like such a small thing, in light of how much others have lost. i mean... two people, whom i knew peripherally? what is that, compared to people who have lost entire families? i almost feel as if i'm trying to claim my place in the spotlight. i'm not, but that's how it feels. what does my small drop of grief amount to? i know i have the right to grieve, and i'm struggling with finding a way to do that which doesn't feel like i'm minimizing what others are dealing with.
feh. and then there was good news today - 5 firefighters found alive at the WTC. :) !!! i was so grateful to hear that. and the stray Siamese is closer to finding a home. and somehow, today, there was humor. tanya - thank you so much for the first honest laugh in days. i can't even remember what you said, but it felt good to laugh.
boss man provided another unintentional laugh. i picked up my phone, and was greeted with 'hi hot one!' he meant to say, 'hi there, how are you, we have a lot of issues to deal with, one is really hot, can you help?' but many years of friendship leads to shorthand. and hilarity, which we all desparately need right about now.