Saturday, November 28, 2009

Biker in the road.

Today has been the worst day of my life. I thought yesterday was bad, but yesterday was coated in a fine layer of hope. Hope that kept the tears away.

The President spoke last night. I didn't vote for Obama. I didn't vote for anyone, actually. I was a republican, but didn't support Bush. McCain didn't represent the changes I wanted to see. I'm not ready to go democrat, so I just abstained from voting. But I support Obama, if that makes any sense. So, I took time to watch it. The whole family did. This thing has kind of brought us together, in a weird, mortifying way. I thought after Thanksgiving dinner, the wedding would be off for sure and the only way Kim and I could get married would be to elope in some country that has at least a thousand miles of ocean between this one. Funny how I was right about one part. Funny how the family could put that occurrence behind them, but I still won't be walking down the aisle.

His speech was good. His speech was comforting. His speech was everything you'd expect from a President, and that's why it didn't mean much to me. He did the best that he could, but it was obvious that our government is baffled. It's obvious that no one knows what the hell is going on. It's obvious that instead of a wedding I may be holding a funeral really soon. The whole world might. He did say that they were working around the clock to find the cause and, more importantly, find the people missing. WIth the Machens and the Friedmans crowded around one TV, we were all feeling a little shaken up after what happened at the police station. Freddy, who'd be uncharacteristically tranquil during all this, blurted out that it must be aliens doing this. A mass abduction. "Some trippy alien shit," he said. The funny thing was that no one said anything. Not in agreement or to suggest that the idea was ridiculous.

I started to think that maybe Freddy wasn't far off. Not aliens, but something not of this world. My mind went to the rapture and I could feel other people thinking the same. But that doesn't make much sense. Isn't that the whole world? Why would it just be the United States? Maybe it still is biblical and just different than our expectations/interpretations. I remember seeing on the discovery channel that Noah's flood was really just an isolated event. A grand flood alright, but not the whole world like we have been taught. Same with the ark and its size. A story that's evolved over the years. This could be like that. Something we've just been reading in to all wrong?

But where would that leave us?

We were glued to the television today all day today as well. Not much in official updates. It's like when 9/11 happened, or Michael Jackson died. A looot of speculation, a lot of aerial shots, and a lot of saying the same thing in different ways. At about 6, after a national moment of silence for both those missing and killed on Black Morning, mom and Mrs. Machen offered to cook. They had a little moment that was awkward, given what happened the other night, but I didn't stay to see how it played out. I slipped out the front and just told everyone I needed some time to myself. They let me go. I guess they know this is hard for me. It's a sympathy I don't know if I want. But I was grateful for the alone time.

I smoked for the first time in 2 years. I had stopped for Kim. She hated he habit, mostly because two of her uncles had died of lung cancer and her own father started smoking when he was seven. I promised her I never would, but part of that promise was that I'd get to keep a pack. I figured that I'd know I'd really kicked the habit when I could resist something that was within my reach. In some ways, I thought flushing them would be the easy way out. Knowing that they were under the gray socks in the 3rd drawer that I never wear and still being able to say no--that's an accomplishment to me.

I've had them in my pocket ever since after Obama's speech last night.

I was about to pop in my second cigarette when I saw him. He was coming over the hill, walking his bike. He looked exactly the same as when I stopped for him on the side of the road that day, except he was moving around, not without a limp tho.

At first I wasn't going to say anything to him. Why would I? Besides, it might not have even been him. But I knew it was. And, somehow, I knew he was there to see me. I knew before he even started to head my way.

We just stood there for a little while, me holding an unlit cigarette and him precariously balancing his bike and a bum leg. I thought we would just stand there for hours, but then he spoke. His voice sounded different then before. I don't remember how it sounded that day, but it wasn't this.

"I was one of those who disappeared," he said. At first I didn't think I heard right, and everything still felt too fuzzy, unreal, and dreamlike for me to reply. Then he thrust an envelope into my hand. He told me that she wanted me to have it.

By the time I looked up, he was already leaving. i thought of running after him, but for some reason I didn't. This was a couple hours ago. I haven't looked at the envelope yet. It's sitting right here, beside the computer. I might open it now, but I might not. I don't really know why.

Yes, I should open it. I may be a worrier, but it doesn't mean I have to be a dormant one.

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