Chancelucky

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

9/12 2006 (Five Years and a Day After)


I had made a point of not blogging on or around September 11. I figured much too much was already being said on the net. Besides that great miniseries “The Road to 9/11” was airing on ABC in place of Monday Night Football, now moved to ESPN. If you ask me, it was JFK’s fault. Think about this, Osama was born in 1957. The CIA under JFK had numerous opportunities to kill Osama as a four or five year old Saudi boy even before he became an Islamic fundamentalist. If the show happened to skip over the small matter of Osama being armed and financed by the CIA under Ronald Reagan, it’s obviously because 9/11 was all JFK’s fault since the 35th president was too busy having an affair with Marilyn Monroe to be concerned about the really bad things Osama would no doubt do in the future. If I were a serious blogger, I would have watched “The Road to 9/11” just so I could take notes and complain about it. I confess, I watched the Raiders get shutout by the Chargers on ESPN instead and then last night opted to make volleyball videotapes for my daughter to send out to colleges.

On 9/11 itself, I was on a business trip in Chicago and had literally flown in a few hours before the attacks. I called my office in Washington D.C. to check in and got an answering machine saying that no one would be in the rest of the day. Up to that moment, it hadn’t occurred to me that I could have easily been flying into DC that day myself or that my office which overlooked the spot where John Hinckley shot Ronald Reagan was really only a couple miles from the Pentagon.

Skip ahead five years later, I’m at work and have to drop something off to a business that had worked with our office before. I find the address next door, but I don’t find the actual address. I call information on my cell phone and they tell me the business isn’t listed at all. I call my office and our receptionist gets me the direct phone number. I dial and get the following answering machine message,

“If you are calling for “business X”, XXXX died suddenly last week and we are no longer in business. I can not help you either because I am still recovering from the accident. If you need xxxx, please contact another business that does what we do.”

It was sad and darkly funny at the same time. The person we did business with was simply no longer, the business no longer existed, and the only thing that remained was this answering phone message. I’m sure the place of business still stands, but the fact that I couldn’t find it between the two addresses that should have bracketed it just added to the effect.

I began multiplying this one suddenly no longer living person by the thousands in my head and suddenly on September 12, 2006 as much as I had intended to downplay 9/11, I found myself unexpectedly feeling rather than thinking about 9/11.

The disappearance of person X with whom I meant to do business yesterday logically has nothing to do with planes crashing into buildings five years ago. My gut tells me though that 9/11 and the wars that have ensued allegedly in response to 9/11 have ripped a hole in our world. As I listened to that answering machine message, I was running my fingers across the tiny part of the hole that begins with people deciding that mass killing is somehow sane and retaliation with more mass killing is even more sane.
The worst thing of all was that I felt that tiny hole for what amounted to thirty seconds and all I knew was that it’s only getting bigger not smaller. To me, that’s the real terror.



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6 Comments:

At 9/13/2006 06:50:00 PM, Blogger Dale said...

I'm glad you ended up blogging around September 11 Chancelucky. What a strange turn to bring you to your poignant, funny and sad observations.

 
At 9/13/2006 10:33:00 PM, Blogger inkyhack said...

It's weird to suddenly find yourself in a situation where the person you were supposed to meet was dead. I had a similar situation about 15 years ago. I was supposed to talk to a guy about a story, but instead ended up walking in on his wake.
How sudden life can be ...

 
At 9/13/2006 11:06:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

Dale, thanks. It was definitely strange. I was on the right street and found 612 and 620, but couldn't find 616, then no listing for an ongoing business in information, and finally the answering machine message. It was like something solid had vanished right in front of me.


Inky,
Were you covering John Gotti at the time?

 
At 9/14/2006 02:02:00 AM, Anonymous pogblog said...

How Mr. Bush et ilk could have played into the hands of Mr. bin Laden et ilk so completely boggles what remains of my mind which has been roved for six years and resembles roadkill (harmonic intended).

A real threat, as an example, to "the people" of the USKR (United States of Karl Rove) is the 485,000 annual tobacco-related deaths -- all those families devastated and forlorn, but we don't tap the phone of anyone calling into North Carolina and have a wanted Dead or Alive poster out for Philip Morris CEO Louis C. Camilleri.

We aren't spending $200,000 per minute on shutting down this civilization threatening menace to American wellbeing. Plus the additional $820,000 per minute we spend on the military in general.

We aren't a serious or thoughtful people. We could have put the destruction of the buildings in the vicious but not particularly threatening perspective they deserved and refused to let the criminal perpetrators get our national nuts all tied into a knot. But, man, did they have an effect beyond their wildest dreams. Largely because we have political opportunists in charge rather than statesmen with historical perspective and farsighted judgment.

 
At 9/14/2006 01:48:00 PM, Anonymous Atul said...

Great post chancelucky. It's one that puts it all in perspective. I also agree with pogblog. There are far worse tragedies that need to be addressed, but they're not as dramatic so it's human nature for us to focus elsewhere. The same can be said of the atrocities in Darfur. If we value each human life as equally important, then we should be doing more there.

 
At 9/16/2006 12:46:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

Atul,
thanks. I very much liked your Post 9/11 post on your site.

I think we should value all human life. I'm not sure we should or can value each one equally, because some I honestly do care about more than others, but I'm tired of the mindset that only seems to value wealthy American human lives.

 

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