looking through me

Tag: memories

fifteen years

A glint in the sky catches my eye. I track it as it makes a long arcing turn and prepares for its final descent.

Fifteen years ago the skies were empty. Fifteen years ago the whole country was grounded though the foundation had been ripped from beneath our feet.

Fifteen years ago my eyes scanned the plane-less sky and struggled to understand how quickly life had changed. Today planes are in the sky, but I feel the same restless bewilderment.

A bag of groceries sits on the seat beside me as I drive. Feeding those I love lets me feel useful in my helplessness. I watch the plane until it dips out of sight. I pull into the driveway and unload the groceries. I head to the kitchen to chop and mix, to sauté, to layer and bake.

Fifteen years ago everything changed . . . and nothing changed. Fifteen years ago we recoiled at humanity’s hatred, but the venom burns through us as hotly as ever.

We forget because it hurts to remember. We remember because it hurts to forget.

Fifteen years. And counting.




I commute to work in an undulating sea of cars swelling down the freeway. The ripple effect of each tap of the brakes or accelerator is mesmerizing and maddening.

Every day as we lurch along—as some ride the bumper in front of them and as others let large gaps open and close like the ebb and flow of the tide—I long for the days of marching band.

On cue, a band steps off in unison. Each stride a precise twenty-two-and-a-half inches. No one waits for the person in front to move. The mass of individuals maneuvers as a unit. There are no collisions, no pile ups, no stragglers. There is complete trust that each person will step on time and the right distance.

I miss it as I rail at the drivers around me braking unnecessarily or failing to react when traffic picks up.

I know the freeway isn’t a parade route. I know there is no standard stride length for cars. I know we can’t all hit the gas at the same time and move as one . . . but I can dream.



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