One week on. Wow. This is from a note from my sister:
A quick hello to check in and see how you are...I hope our phone conversation the other night didn't upset you? I know- obviously- we are all upset, and that of course comes through as we talk to each other through this difficult time...It can be hard to remember that in the midst of an intense conversation, but it doesn't mean anything more than just that, eh?
I saw your web page, after getting Mom's e-mail I checked it out... how are you feeling? Did you go to any vigils or services this weekend? What are you up to this week? Have you gotten in touch with your friends back east?
I spoke briefly with Juliette and Michael this weekend, but not much to tell. What can one say, at this point. Everyone is word weary, feeling awful, struggling to make some sense or logic out of it.
I love you, and hope you're hanging in...Love to Alicia too, and let's talk this week?
I wanted to reply. Hell, I need to reply. "our phone conversation..." - yeah. I recall it was a bit rough over the phone. As it was talking with Justin, my nephew who said "we should nuke them". As it was with Shari, who shared with me my dad's recollections of the building of the towers. Chatting with David was not the most rewarding, and when I finally did talk with my dad, he shared his sincere concern over my lack of employment options lately, and the challenge "my" generation is facing in the employment market. Mom listened, and then had to run off to the dentist. Emails went out to my peeps, Mandy getting back to me soon - she being the one person I knew in the city. I heard from Alex, who was planning on flying to DC from Chicago, but I suspect her visit home got interrupted. Lynne was another person who I knew was traveling - the bahamas, must be nice, but I figured she would have been home by now. Nope - emailed telling me she was stuck near Ft. Lauderdale, so she got a tattoo of a flamingo! Cool.
I talked to everyone I could think to call - Matt and Billie, Melissa and Michelle and Zach - Melissa shared with me that up until June of this year, she was doing business on the 60th floor or so of the World Trade Center. I used to drive by the pentagon with her - she says it was the side we'd see driving home from Reston. Whoa.
Terry wasn't on assignment, but he also was working 18 hour days, on call the other 6, and possibly shipping off to NYC if he could get there.
rough over the phone. Not as rough over email - the question that I still ask is "are your peeps ok?", though hardly proof that scott is one hep cat, it is my honest question - tell me that you and yours - be they friends, family, lovers and enemies, are all "ok" - what a relative position to be in anyways, right?
Rough. Not only was it rough for me, but overwhelmingly rough. If someone were to ask alicia about me last tuesday/wednesday, I can only hope she answered "scott's ok". I certainly wasn't fine. Not even on the same planet as fine.
but scarily, I got back to "ok", and now, as I sit here with only the fleetingness of a feeling that I shouldn't go to sleep tonight, for fear of a phone call in the morning from my mom. No. Thursday wasn't too good, but I was feeling human again. Friday I got out to assist in Alicia's show - "free sex" - and it was great. My compliment to the actors was this - I forgot. Thanks so very very much. distraction - it's often a useful tool. And slowly over the weekend, first gathering with our friends Mikie and Susie for brunch (I had a waffle with Nutella on it - yummy! Alicia had a Crepe with Nutella on it - very yummy!), then shopping for hair things for the girls, while Mike and I people watched. S&M wanted to get a flag for their apartment window, and for their car. Out of luck, at that place and time. Saturday nights show of "free sex"; hanging out after the show, watching the candles flicker in the night air. Sunday, sleeping late and then running "free sex" again, this time having a "cast party" afterwards. Good times with good people, easing everyone's psyche a notch or two back towards normal.
Did you go to any vigils or services this weekend?
Well, at 7 pm Friday night, alicia and I went to the rooftop of our building, and as the sun set, making the evening sky once again a spectacular ocean of colors and light, we had quite a bit of trouble lighting two candles. Finally, huddled down a bit (or is that hunkered down?), we were able to keep the fragile flames lit, flickering in the breeze. Probably all sorts of sappy shit I can say - all alone, defending the fragile, yet powerful flame of hope, against prevailing trouble. But it was really all about being with someone I love, and feeling a sliver of hope. She choose to extinguish her candle - on her own terms. I followed, thinking of those who will never be forgotten. and we held each other close, held each other tight. When I made it up to the theater for the show, I passed by the intersection of Sunset and La Brea - there were maybe 30-50 people on the street corners, waving flags, lighting candles. People honked their horns to show support. It frankly startled me, for I'd never think to hold a vigil at a busy intersection, but it worked. People were there - people were coming and going by there. so, cool. Very cool. After the show got out (12:30'sh or so), we were hanging out in front of the theater, watching the goings on in the parking lot and at the dance club across the way. Lots of loud traffic going by. and I was pointing out the big Ford Expedition driving by with a really good sized flag being held aloft by the passenger, out the window. Thought I'd hate to be down the road a bit when he got tired and slacked off on holding the flagpole ridgedly up - I could see them bonking people on the sidewalk with it. and then...
A Los Angeles fire truck roared by - with twin flags attached to the midsection of the truck. again, decent sized flags, I'd guess your 4 foot by 8 foot flag, typically seen out front of a house or business. Well, ugh- words kinda fail. the truck went by not too fast, the flags waving, and they had the trucks rescue lights set up so that the flags were illuminated, kinda from behind, if I recall correctly. the flags glowed...
vigils. I perused the collection of pictures on the web - the vigils held around the world, they pretty much gutted me. I mean, workers at the Volkswagen plant/town of Wolfsburg - lots of candles. the mountain of flowers outside the embassy in London. Columbia. France. any number of "-ekiztan" countries. Palistinians and Isralis. Australia and New Zealand. Hell, frankly - the only part of the world not accounted for was Antarctica, but I suspect they probably dressed up in their layers of furry coats and warm mittens, popped the hatch on their research huts, and lit a road flare or two. Crazy - I mean, we in the states feel the pain of, say Turkey, when a 7.0 earthquake levels a city or two. But I don't recall a nation wide vigil to remember the victims. Not to compare either tragedy. Just - wow.
Rough. vigils. Life. I used to think that I had this crazy ability to find "normal" every morning. No matter how the day went, I would always wake up in this state - normal, I referred to it. It was a great place to start the day, but the downside was that my emotional roller coaster really didn't have any great peaks or valleys (and yes, before you email me - it's MY delusion, and I'm sticking with it!!!!!). I lost that "normal" a while ago. But just today, well - it's a monday. got up and got alicia to work. went over to Randy's place, helped him with his computer. we did a bit o'pizza for lunch (thanks Randy!), and then wrapped the day up with a visit to his Alfa Romeo mechanic. Headed back to pick up Alicia from Universal, and even the locals on the surface streets were heading - very rapidly - back to "normal". I think I used three shots from my mental "anti-bad-driver ray gun". Honked probably half a dozen times over a 35 minute trip. And it hit me - we're kinda back. It's all crazy and changed and red white and blue, but we're back. Closer. Wow. Isn't the human body something? Life - that's something too!
News. Can't say if this counts. It's more recollection, eh? Oh, hey - this should be news to a few - I'm off to Atlanta this Thursday, and after spending the weekend with Matt and Billie in Knoxville, I'll be helping Michelle's sister road trip from Atlanta to San Diego. Good things are helping friends, road tripping across the country, and doing something - hell, anything - and feeling good about it. Bad things might be scott's airline adventure, if things continue the way they are - let's hope Vanguard Airlines doesn't choose to stop flying those wacky red eye flights out of LAX.