A Day Like Any Other Day

The land of the free.

Late last night the air was misty with fog. Or maybe it was just the humidity, but looking out across the yard was like looking through a slightly steamy window. Everything was just a bit blurry around the edges and the lamps had that little halo around them that they get when there is a touch of fog. This morning, there was fog proper and it settled in the streets as we left for work.

Fog is interesting stuff and it always makes me feel cozy and secretive whenever I’m out and around in it. Maybe it’s the mist’s ability to dampen out sounds or maybe it is the way things in the distance disappear but walking around in the fog is like having my own private world to hang out in. Some people come and go through it but eventually they are swallowed up by the fog and I once again reign supreme in my own little fog world. I hung out a bit this morning after TheMan dropped me off and enjoyed the visual of the silent Law Quad slowly melting into white at the very edges. It was very serene and I left for work with a smile.

Several hours later, while distributing the mail, I realized that today was September 11, 2003 and exactly two years after the World Trade Center collapsed. Was it negligent of me to not wake up all saddened that today was the anniversary of that event? It wasn’t the first or foremost thing on my mind when my eyes flew open this morning. Rather I was really annoyed that the one song I had been singing all night long in my head was still there in the morning. 2000 plus people lost their lives two years ago and my trivial annoyances include a song that I Can. Not. Stop. Singing. I suppose I just pissed off a bunch of New Yorkers saying that.

I’m not much for the maudlin I guess. While I think that it is good to keep 9/11 in memory so that people and events are not forgotten I don’t think it is good to dwell on 9/11 to the point where it becomes an open wound all over again. I remember 9/11 pretty well from a remote “viewing everything on TV” way but what I remember most from the days of 9/11 is pride in my fellow Americans. For a while I was darn proud through and through to be an American (damnit).

I remember the uncertain days after the attack with the eerie silent skies and the sad half mast flags. It seemed to go on for weeks and when you live just 30 miles from a large international airport the lack of air traffic is almost palpable. Everywhere I looked there was a listless flag at half mast cowering against its pole and up in the air there was no usual traffic making vapor trails or silvery glints against the sky. Very Rod Serling and very creepy because it was all real.

Then, one day, we were traveling down the expressway and lo! There in the sky was a plain taking off for parts unknown! It was the first plane I had seen since the day they were grounded and I cheered a little happy “Go Plane!” cheer when I saw it winging off into the sky. Part of my world had returned to normal and I thought “Yeah, terrorists! We may have slowed down for a bit but look at that! Planes! In the sky! Take that! HA!” I was proud that we were getting back on our feet.

Then a few days later I passed by the silly oversized flag of one of the dealerships and it was flying straight and happy at full mast all rippling and crackling in the breeze. On any normal day, the flag which is much too big for the pole its on just looks sorta silly sitting there all disproportionate but when I saw it hanging out at the top of the pole where it belongs I thought again “Yeah!”. Big assed flag rippling in the wind at the top of the pole, thankyouverymuch. The American people are through mourning and it’s time to take action. I wasn’t sure what that action would be but I was happy to see the spirit back in motion once again.

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