Well, this is my first post in our new world. I’ve held off from posting anything, mostly because I figured no one would really care to hear someone on the other side of the country talk about the effects of the events eleven days ago. Then I remembered that almost no one reads this, so what the hell.
First off, to those two or three of you who ordinarily stop by here, you’ll notice a patriotic little color change. One day the purple will come back, but until then, I’m flying my next three favorite colors. If you look back in the archives you’ll see some rather grim color combinations, just because I haven’t worked through all of the posts yet. Patience.
I guess the main thing I’m wondering (like everyone else in the country, I’m sure) is “when will I feel normal again?” Assuming I can ever feel normal again (as normalcy goes in my neck of woods). I was happy with my complacency. Reveled in it, in fact. Now I’m missing it like a long-lost friend. Everything in the world has taken on ominous overtones.
In those halcyon days of two weeks ago, I could see two police officers walk past without a second thought. Now I start to wonder. “Are they looking for someone? Did someone call in a bomb threat? Is this just a safety measure?” Two weeks ago, I would hear the sound of a fire engine’s siren (many times each day) and just assume that there was some small fire somewhere to be put out. As long as the sound didn’t get close, everything’s okay. Now I rush over to the news sites to see if we’ve been attacked. When I hear a plane fly overhead, my ears strain to detect a change in the sound of the engine and it’s all I can do to keep myself from running outside to make sure it stays in the air.
Now, before you start to think I’m waaaaay too paranoid, I’ll let you know that I live in the Bay Area and work in San Francisco. I feel my paranoia, while a little extreme, is at least partly justified. Especially when there’s talk of another attack on “a bridge in a major urban center.” Now you see why I’m going crazy.
So yesterday, I’m driving home across the Bay Bridge. I wound up having to leave at the peak of rush hour, so traffic was bumper to bumper. As soon as I pulled onto the bridge, the little reptilian part of my brain started piping up.
“Get the hell OUT of here? Don’t you read the news? A BRIDGE might get hit on Saturday, and Saturday is damn close to Friday. Maybe they’re in a different time zone and they really mean today! Get out of the car! Walk back to work and hide under the desk!”
Luckily for the other commuters, I like my car. I turned up the radio a little louder and looked around for a little distraction.
“Hmm hmm hmmmm… Lah de dah.. not listening to the voices… blue car next to me… yellow in front… orange car in front of the blue one… in front of that, and eighteen wheeler… lah de dahh… what store is that eighteen wheeler from? Target. Fuck me.”
Yes, I was on a bridge in a major urban center three cars away from a big white truck with the word “TARGET” plastered all over it with a GIANT FUCKING BULLSEYE!!!!
Not only do I really like my car, I don’t like to walk if I can help it. Plus, I needed to work on my deep breathing anyways. All I can say is, you’ve never seen someone so glad to get off of a bridge in your life.
So here I am, safely ensconced within my house, becoming even more of a recluse than usual. Those bastard terrorists have taken my complacency, but at least they’ve given me the opportunity to work on my site a little bit, do some house cleaning and watch some movies. Yes, the glass is half full, but the Mountain Dew bottle is only 1/4 full.
In all seriousness, my thoughts and prayers go out to all of those affected by the tragedies at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and that Pennsylvanian field.