... the journal

The Guest
Refrigerator Door

Now we have some magnets from Bob, who is an internet-friend I've never met, but who sent this series...

rs-oz.jpg (16973 bytes)


0062507249.01.MZZZZZZZ.jpg (4762 bytes)

Becoming a Man:
Half a Life Story

Paul Monette

My Amazon wish list



Pictures from our
England and Orkney trip

are on my Club Photo page.

powered by SignMyGuestbook.com

That's it for today!


(an entry for the On Display collaboration)

13 November 2001

It was just a normal morning around here. I woke up at 4 because I'd gone to sleep so early. I had a lot of transcription to finish, so I started working, while the TV played softly in the background. It was the end of an infomercial. Ron Popeil was hawking something or other. I kept the sound low.

I finished two tapes from the psychiatrist and was feeling virtuous. I could chat with Peggy without feeling that I should have been working instead.

It was a little after 6. I hadn't made coffee yet but finally decided to get a pot started. Walt, as a government employee, has the day off, but he'd asked if I would bring him coffee at the usual time anyway.

From my office, I could hear the sound of the water bubbling into the coffee pot and could smell the aroma of French Roast brewing, just about ready for drinking. Outside I heard the sound of the rain falling. I wondered if the couch we put on the patio during the summer was still covered with a plastic tarp.

The local news started. Walt Grey, one of our local newscasters, was droning on about something. He was probably stumbling over his words and getting his facts wrong. It's his trademark and I've never been able to understand why the man has been in broadcasting for so long.

I saw that Steve was on line, but I didn't start chatting with him because I expected Peggy at any moment. I can carry on two parallel chats at the same time, but my druthers are to concentrate on only one. Besides, Peggy's been off line for several days while she's been getting her computer fixed, so we had some catching up to do.

Suddenly I was aware that the local station had cut away to NBC for the special report that a jet plane had crashed in Queens.

I looked at the now horrifying familiar shots of smoke rising into the air, people standing in the streets, mouths hanging open in shock.  I dashed off a quick note to Peggy..."did you hear...?"

She was on in seconds, asking for details. But my written reports weren't enough and we decided to skip the chat so we could both watch CNN. Had terrorists attacked again? It was a chilling thought.

An analysis of the news was interesting. The brief synopsis coming from our local news source (which is e-mailed to me as news breaks) said:

There are reports that the FBI believes there was an explosion aboard the American Airlines passenger jet that crashed in the Queens borough of New York City today. There will be a live press conference at noon EDT.

A non-committal statement which is just vague enough to get people's fears churned up. The accident was tragic enough, but people reading something like that, especially so close to the World Trade Center attack, would naturally jump to the worst possible conclusions.

In contrast, on NBC, there were Katie and Matt continually reminding people that we had no information yet that this was a terrorist attack. Their reporting was subdued, shocked. Katie, having recently lost two people close to her, was so incredibly empathetic. She knows what it feels like to lose somebody you love.

They interviewed people in the streets in Queens, by telephone at first, since camera crews were rushing to the scene. A man began talking about the event, his voice choked with emotion as he remembered how many people this borough had lost at the World Trade Center, how many funerals they held in the past two months.

When the cameras were able to show live interviews, flames leaped into the sky behind those being interviewed, and the now-familiar jackets of the firefighters were seen running everywhere.

Confusion and frenzy everywhere.

Why did it happen? Are we under attack again? Who did it? Was it a malfunction?

In Washington, DC, White House staffers, who had the holiday off were called back to work. The FBI assured everyone that there was no initial indication that this was a terrorist attack. Could they be believed?

The questions will go on and on. They are the same questions we ask after any airline crash, but the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks have altered our perception. This is probably just an accident--a tragic accident, but probably not one which was the result of deliberate human intervention.

Still, the scenes of rising columns of smoke, flames, firemen, newscasters, shocked faces of people on the street continue to remind us that we are no longer a secure little island, removed from any threat of violence from foreign shores.

I feel like I did in London on September 11. I'm here. Jeri is in Boston. Tom may still be on a cruise ship somewhere in the Caribbean, or else he's back in Santa Barbara--no matter; he's at a distance. My mother is in the Bay Area. Even Ned is on the other side of town.

I want to take everybody I love into my arms, drag them all into a secure cave somewhere and never let them go ever, ever again.

One Year Ago:
Walking With God

(Club Photo has started deleting
photo albums after 90 days,
so the photos which were once there,
have been removed now)

previous | Journal home | bio | cast | archive | next
Bev's Home Page

Created 11/9/01 by Bev Sykes