Saturday, September 07, 2002

Ian (via comments), it's a mistake to assume that one has to be a New Yorker to feel the enormous pain of what happened there, or to be angry beyond words, or to feel real, nauseating fear.

There's a saying in rural areas of this place where I was born, that the worst sleep you get is near dawn, after the rooster's first crow, waiting for his second.

I'm in my homeland, Alabama, still angry, fearful, hopeless, hopeful, angry again, in some of the same ways that you are, and some different, no more or less valid or real. I made the move back here because no one knows what the future holds, and I don't ever, ever again want to be away from my amazing, beautiful, annoying, loving parents, as long as they live. I gave up an enormously lucrative job to return here, and I don't care one whit.

This time last year, I was living in Baltimore County, in quiet, bucolic horse country, and incidentally directly under the flight path usually connecting the White House, Camp David, and the "underground Pentagon" on the MD/PA border. I saw the military choppers flying overhead with the fighter jets circling above whenever George or his boys moved around betwixt them

My beloved baby brother has lived and worked in DC one block from the White House for several years now. He and I took the subway to Pentagon City the weekend after the attack, to take some flowers from my garden, a bit of rosemary for remembrance, to pray, and to see this horrific thing that we felt as humans and Americans it was not only our duty but dubious privilege to see, that we could share these awful but vital memories with each other and with our nieces and nephews.

It's painful Ian, I know, to see what you've seen, and to be where you've been. I'm sorry, I wish I could offer you real comfort. But everyone else, me, VodkaSteve, Lileks, whoever, has a different and just as important perspective... one of the worst things imaginable happened to the greatest city in the world, and to the symbols of the greatest of civilizations... and we are all on pins and needles fearing to see who gets bitten next. No one feels safe. No one can sleep. No one can leave for work in the morning without wondering if they or the baby they kiss good-bye that morning, or the dog whose ears they scratch, will be around for another caress the next day.

That's nothing to snark at. Please don't. It isn't fair.


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