Tuesday morning started at 3am, as I got the dogs settled and made for the train. A bit before 7am, I emerged, blinking, into the San Jose dawn, and met up with Kawaii for breakfast. Hugs and hot coffee, talking and scrambled eggs, the simple pleasures we take for granted.
On our way into Hobees, he said "Oh! I bet you haven't heard the news yet today." Me, news, no, mumble, what? A plane crashed into the World Trade Center, and another crashed into the Pentagon. I gave it about a second's worth of imagination, then mentally shrugged it off. There was nothing to be done right then and there; I would take pleasure in his company while I had it and worry later.
Well, this put me into the office before anyone else, but my co-workers arrived all at once, and highly distressed. Strong emotion is catching; I couldn't block it out. Everyone was watching news casts, exchanging data via MUSH or IRC, listening to the radio, swapping rumors... at five to nine, I organized an appointment for four of us to donate blood at the local blood center ("We're filling up fast for today," said the receptionist.) Tried to work for another hour or so. Failed. Failed as well to deal with the increase in emotional tension in the people around me. Finally accepted that no work was going to get done today, and called Kawaii, who agreed to meet me in the redwood grove.
Another interlude of peace and pleasure, and as we sat together and talked, I thought about the irony, blood and death (so much death) near to us, fear even nearer (many government buildings closed in addition to the airports), and yet love continues. We go on, despite the horrors, because we are survivors, born from generations of survivors, and this is what we do. We rescue, we grieve, we heal, we rebuild, and we continue.
Later, Trip, Angie, Tara and I convened to go to the Stanford Blood Center. It was not precisely a mob scene, but it was jam-packed. I was afraid we'd be there for hours and hours, but to my surprise, we were only there for a half-hour longer than the hour I originally thought it would take. (The appointment was a smart smart thing. If you can give blood and haven't yet, I suggest making an appointment this week or next.)
Of course, there were two TVs at the blood center, both tuned to CNN. I don't own a TV, and don't want one. I'm not sure that I would have sought out video clips of the disaster, left to myself. But I saw the amateur video that tracked the second plane into -- and, unbelievably, through -- the second tower, leaving a gash of fire in its wake, and I saw Kali dancing.
A 4am call from the NOC exploded my uneasy dreams. I'm going back to bed now that I have this down.
A PS for roadnotes: my sky now is pink and blue-grey with dawn, and there is one bird outside my window, singing its heart out. It's cool here in the Sierra foothills. It's going to be a beautiful day.