Saturday, September 09, 2006


In 1998, Peggy Noonan wrote the greatest column of her career. It put all all my fears for the futures in print.

On 9/11 I remembered her column. I was surprised by the way the attack went down but I was not shocked that an attack was happening. Not at all. For years I had a nagging feeling that America's blessing of protection was about to run out. Looking at the rest of the world I thought it was miraculous that no huge terrorist action had happened here and that it was just a matter of time. I figured it would be like Oklahoma city or like something the IRA used to do.

I remember standing around the TV in the conference room at my old job watching it happen.
My office was right across the square from the White House and we were all expecting something to blow up at any minute. Our office manager was so stunned she couldn't make a decision whether to let us leave or not.. I decided that whatever was going to happen next I would at least die trying to get home. Everyone else came to the same conclusion and people began leaving quietly.

I'm so proud of the people in DC that day. There was no panic. Everyone was just calmly walking or slowly driving home. The whole city was so still. All I could hear was the sound of shoes on the pavement and the remarkably soft murmur of voices. Everyone cooperated. Everyone was nice which is a miracle because DC is normally a cold, nasty town.

I walked for six or seven blocks and finally got a cab all to myself. Most of the cabs had several people crammed in. Some folks were even sitting on laps. I couldn't get back to Virginia so I went to my mama's home in DC. As soon as I let myself in I hugged her and got my rosary out. Eventually my cell phone worked for a few minutes at a time and we were able to call relatives.

I called Rocky and told him not worry. Though lovers be lost love shall not, so Dylan Thomas said. Rocky doesn't go in for poetry. He hightailed it for his truck and spent hours trying to get to me. Late that night we finally went home and drove past the Pentagon.

Dear God, I can not describe how it looked. Dear God have mercy on all those people who died with no chance to go to confession, no chance to repent. Dear God.....

My mama sometimes kids me becuase I go to confession every week. I do it because I don't care to be caught by death unprepared.

A poll said that America's faith hasn't changed since 9/11. Well butter my backside and call me biscuit. Abortions haven't stopped and neither has the multi billion dollar porn industry in this country so it's obvious that most of us are still partying like it's 1999. Does it seem like there's an air of desparation to the party though? It seems like people are trying to forget, trying to consume, trying to lose themselves in sex, drugs, music---anything.

So many of us are trying to stamp our feet and close our eyes and pretend that there are not hard men watching us. Hard men who have no problem killing themselves as long as they can take us with them. Hard men who don't give a poot on a high wind about love, life or the future because they see their perverted version of paradise waiting for them.

We are like fat, soft children playing in a garden and oblivious to the cobras waiting inches away in the bushes and ready to strike.