Two years ago on this day, many people died at the hands of a group of desperate people–people who, I wrote a couple of weeks ago, shared similar traits to the suicide kamikaze of WWII. I didn’t mean to “revise” the image of kamikaze as desperately battling the cultural encroachment by and hegemony of the West; neither did I intend to equate the actions of kamikaze pilots on military targets with terrorists on non-military ones. But I do believe that desperate people resort to extreme measures to accomplish their goals. It is frightening and more than a little sad…
On a lighter note on this solemn day, I would like to tell you that there seems to be an affinity between disasters and me sitting on the can. As I mentioned earlier this week, I was sitting down, doing my business when the ’89 SF earthquake hit, and fearing my body would be discovered under undignified circumstances. Well, two years ago on 9/11, I was again reading the newspaper in my favorite place when Musubi-chan pounded on the door to hand me the telephone receiver–damn, these cordless phones! It was my sister and she was screaming at me.
“Oh my gawd. It’s horrible!”
“Huh? Calm down, what’s up?” I said, half jokingly.
“Haven’t you heard? You’re ALWAYS on the toilet. A plane crashed into the World Trade Center.”
I was frozen in horror because my sister worked right across the street from the WTC. But I immediately calmed down as I remembered that she just happend to be in LA taking care of our mother.
“Gawd, Onigiriman.” No, she doesn’t really call me this. “There was a crash at the Pentagon, too. Didn’t you hear? Isn’t your school near the Pentagon? Do you LIVE in the bathroom?!?”
I don’t mean to make light of today’s significance. But this is pretty much how it unfolded for me that day. It is now a standing joke in our house that I spend far too much time in my special room, and whenever I’m there, there’s always the possibility of a disaster. Musubi-chan yaps about my time there, and my sister always tells me she’s glad we have extra bathrooms. Whenever they start talking like this, I grab the most recent issue of SI or Newsweek and head to the… uh, you-know-where.
For a more intimate description of the events of that day, read caffeinenicotine. He was near ground zero and his account is vivid and moving.