113: the things we did today

It hardly seems worth mentioning what I’ve been up to since Tuesday. I, like the rest of the country and the world, am in mourning and it hardly seems appropriate to go into my usual blather about boys I ogle or people who annoy me.

I’ve been trying really hard not to be alone and so far I’ve been doing a pretty good job. I’ve seen Jacinda every night this week. If we weren’t looking at apartments, we were sitting in front of a television, eating ice cream and watching a steady diet of CNN, MSNBC, ABC, and BBC. We were supposed to check out a place last night but the landlady cancelled so we hung out with Kevin, ate food, and watched “Hairspray” on Comedy Central. Before switching back to the news, we watched some weird program about scary sex toys. It was fun.

I went to the remembrance at Daley Plaza today with my co-worker Matt. We met up with Maria and thousands of people who filled the streets downtown. Most people were wearing red, white, and blue outfits, waving American flags and looking tired. People around me stood around and chatted quietly until the bells started to ring at noon. We bowed our heads and prayed.

I closed my eyes and it was the quietest it’s been (for me, anyway) since Tuesday. I prayed and I wondered and I talked to God. I recited the Hail Mary and the Our Father so many times I started mixing them together: “Hail Mary . . . who art in Heaven . . . the Lord is with Thee . . . what the fuck is going on? How long is this going to last?”

My eyes teared up a little bit as someone sang “God Bless America” over the PA, and I could feel an ache as we all sang along in hushed tones. I couldn’t tell if people sang quietly because they weren’t entirely sure of the melody, or if they didn’t want to be disrepectful by being too loud or, like me, were on the verge of bursting into tears. A few minutes of silence, then the PA rang with the sound of Ray Charles singing “America The Beautiful”. I know this cheered me up, and it seemed to have the same affect on everybody else. Then people started chanting “USA! USA!” really loudly and clapping. I didn’t know what to make of this — first we’re at a memorial, then a pep rally?

Which brings me to the discourse that my friends have been having via e-mail over the last few days, about how the US government should respond to the attacks. Do we launch war? If so, against whom? How do we fight? Who of our foreign allies do we ask for help, and what can we ask them to do? I haven’t really participated because I feel like everything I ever knew of politics or history (little that it was) has left my brain and has been replaced by confusion and pain. Being a movie junkie, all I can think of are movies like “Day of The Jackal” and “The French Connection” — true stories of criminal investigations and pursuits that were executed with skill, determination, and discretion.

Truly, they were not without their flaws and setbacks, but what kept me interested and vested was the measure of thought and care that went into the proceedings. It was that careful attention that, in my mind, made those operations successful. Though in “The Day of The Jackal”, I’m talking about both the police pursuit of the Jackal and the preparations of the Jackal himself, though only one of them succeeded. I know they’re stupid things to think of now, but it’s what comes to mind.

In other news, Jacinda and I are still looking at apartments. We’re applying for a lovely place in uptown, but we have competition for the place. So we’ll continue our search. If you have any tips on 2- or 3-bedrooms that would allow a dog, let me know.


The White Stripes – Expecting; Ralph Stanley & Ricky Skaggs – Children Go Where I Send Thee; David Bowie – Under Pressure


~ by Jasmine on September 14, 2001.

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