Thursday, July 07, 2005

alternative to being stuck on the tracks

There are always pivotal moments and they seem to come at once, separated by long meandering normal periods. These are moments that change reality.. This week I finished grad school, had one of my elaborate unconscious fantasies about the tenor pulled out from under me, and this morning for a brief period, I worried that my sister was on a bombed subway. I woke to a phone call from a friend, which I didn't answer because I was still trying to sleep. I never got back to sleep so I checked my message. It was a friend of mine from NYC:

"Hey, I just wanted to find out if you had talked to your sister. I hope she is alright. It is horrible - brings back all my September 11th memories."

I freaked out. I had not heard anything about the underground bombings. In fact I didn't even know what she was referring to expcept that it had to be bad. Crying and shaking I tried to call my sister at work, hoping she had made it there before the bomb. She didn't answer so I left a message. I tried her cell and home numbers but couldn't get through. All the time I am trying not to picture what could have happened. Feeling like I think others have felt before they got "the bad news". I called my mother at home and on the cell - no answer. I called my Dad at work but he wasn't there. His secretary told me my mother had spoken to my sister. She was ok.

After a couple of hours I got through to my sister. She had been underground when it happened. The train stopped and they were stuck for over an hour, told that there was a power surge. They finally evacuated the train and my sister only found out what happened when they got outside. Thank G-D she, her boyfriend, and their friends are ok.

I feel shell-shocked myself. I am anxious and can't help but obsess over the precariousness of life. If my sister had left a few minutes earlier, things could have been very different.

A couple of my friends called right away, but I don't understand why a couple of my very good friends did not. So dissapointing. Dissapointment sounds like a mild word and the lack of calls sounds like a small thing, and I guess it is, but dissapointment is on a continuum from mild to horrific. It is a driving force that shapes our lives and forms who we are.

My dissapointments have taught me to see tragic things as the alternative to being stuck on the tracks, and while like today that is true, there must be other truths. My experience may not have taught me these alternative truths, but they are there. I would like to find them so I can save my panic for dissapointments on the horrific end of the continuum. Friends can be dissapointing, but does that have to feel so tragic?

No comments: