Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Six Years

The sixth anniversary of 9/11 (so far today, and I hope it stays that way) has no greater significance than previous ones besides another year of administrative ineptitude in the White House and the cumulative impact of a continued ineffective response to the events of that day. Since there has been absolutely no progress since that day, it's a reminder that the opposite of progressives are conservatives but regressives.

My personal memories of that day are etched in the experience of standing in line at the Oakland Airport to take a group of donors to Oaxaca. The announcement of the FAA shutting down all flights came seconds before my section was announced. Watching the events in the airport bar on TV with other travelers made it less isolating until suddenly the airport cleared and I was one of the last passengers there, certain that there was no chance I'd be able to fly the next day but booking my ticket just in case. I had the misfortune of riding back to offsite parking with my suitcase of still perfectly clean clothes with an Airforce reservist from Fairfield who ranted about "We knew this was coming! We knew this was coming! I'm gonna go get 'em!"

I spent the night at the apartment of a guy I was dating at the time (neurotically depressed, unemployed and personalizing the events with "This is one more thing I'll have to deal with now!") With his bedroom window in the shadows of Twin Peaks, we heard helicopters hovering all night long, a phenomenon I'd never seen before or since in San Francisco and have never heard explained.

These memories have not enough distance for comfort and come back to me today as I prepare for an event in Marin and acknowledge my still resident anxiety of crossing the landmark Golden Gate Bridge, especially on a landmark day.



At 4:26 PM, Blogger WAT said...

"another year of administrative ineptitude"

Oh GOD YES. It almost feels like a hazy bad nightmare the last six years or so. What a way to start the new century/millennium huh?

While we don't have those amazing world-renowned landmarks here in LA like you guys do in beautiful S.F. we're still a target of course.

They were gonna blow up LAX remember back in 2000, but thanks to that patrol woman at the Canadian border, the attack was thwarted. She's a hero!

At 7:13 PM, Blogger jason said...

It's strange how long ago (for me) it feels now.

I was right in the middle of teaching Beowulf, when Grendel attacks.

At 6:03 AM, Blogger Two Write Hands said...

"Regressive", "administrative ineptitude"

You're actually too kind to them.

At 3:33 PM, Blogger m00nchild said...

The helicopters where probably circling to monitor the Bay and Golden Gate Bridges -- just in case the hordes of evil Islamofascists emerged out of thing air and killed us all with toothpicks and holepunches.

I was in Seattle at the time. Had only been living there for 6 months during a 9 month break from the Bay Area.

Where I lived, not 15 minutes would go by without a plane flying overhead -- often low. I was in the Arboretum jogging, surrounded by beautiful foliage, and I realized that I'd never known Seattle could be so peaceful. And that it was because there were no planes in the sky at all.

That moment is frozen in time. It haunts me actually. It feels like the calm before the storm of madness that has raged ever since.


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