Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Reflections on tragedy

Never thought an earthquake all the way across the world could shake me up so bad. I was quietly obsessed for hours, until I knew he was okay. I was relieved, then felt bad for feeling relieved. 10,000 people the world just swallowed up. I sat in a cafe that afternoon, watching everyone bustle around me, wondering what used to make me feel so invincible, so untouchable.

Staying in a city this week, nights in hotel rooms, mornings in traffic. I'm already used to sirens and shouting; how quickly I've grown deaf. You know one of my biggest fears? Genovese Syndrome. Not being a victim, but being indifferent, cold. I used to think the word "pacifist" was "passivist." I never could tell if it had a negative or positive connotation.

Called 9-1-1 the other night when I saw a car flipped upside-down on the side of the highway. Black ice and sleet, late night on I89. I couldn't pull over, or I'd go off the road too. But I wanted to feel like I could help something, change a tragedy just a little bit. The operator on the other end of the line thanked me, said they didn't know.

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