A Not So Angry Interlude And Fan Mail From Some Flounder

First out of the gate: I’m delaying those last two “Republic” pieces a few days because I need more time to dot the “i”‘s and cross the “t”‘s.  It’s the only responsible thing to do; I would expect the same if someone were doing a piece on my vast and varied background, factual or commentary.  It’s the most honorable thing I can do for what has become a dishonorable campaign led by a dishonorable man.  I will definitely have other daily entries while I’m finishing off those last two pieces of the series…trust me.

Time to reply to the mailbag:

@Cartoon Pig Dog: Yeah, good point!  The race already is in the toilet.  I was just being optimistic!   @Fiona: Corporate Canada is just the same as Corporate America, make no doubt about that…just colder (pun intended).  @daMama: Thank you for the compliment on my writing.  It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to put pen to paper (in this case fingers to keyboard) and just let it all flow.  This election has given me purpose, no doubt spurred on by the dangerous selection of Sarah Palin as VP choice.  I have to say something, or I could never forgive myself.  @KSinMA: It’s just not me being a messenger after surviving 9/11.  There are others, they just don’t realize it yet.  Rest assured, they will when the time is right.  @Barbara: The greatest crime we can commit as Human beings is silence in the face of inhumanity; that will damn us as surely as if we committed the act ourselves.  @Swineprincess (a/k/a/ my most active commenter): I think you say everything best yourself, how much more can I possibly add except to say thanks for continuing the conversation.

To All Of You Who Offered Support And Inquired How I’m Doing Now: Thank You.  Those comments meant a lot to me and helped me get through was it always a very difficult day.  A most special thanks to a few fellow Survivors who wrote me and shared their stories.  We each have our own tale of that day and we were there for a reason.  I think I have found mine; I hope you have found yours and if not, I hope your journey will take you there.

As for those asking how am I doing now, I do the best I can on a day to day basis; and I’m kept busy by playing Daddy to two wonderful girls.  I watch lots of old TV programs with them from my youth (“Lost In Space” went over like gangbusters with my youngest) and more recent shows (“Babylon 5” with my oldest.  I have a great story or two about this experience for another post down the line).  NY Giants football is always THE event on Sunday in the house.  All calendars are adjusted well in advance to reflect the time of the games and what we can do and where we should be going on whatever day they are playing on.  On one hand I have what can best be termed a normal life; but in another way I am in a constant struggle with myself.

After the attacks, I was diagnosed with Acute PTSD and several years after that Bi-Polar Disorder.  Right around the same time, I admitted I was an alcoholic and gave up the booze that had essentially become my refuge, my lover, and my spiritual well.  I do not travel long distances, because I have a certain comfort zone I like to stay within close to my home.  I do not like big crowds and have not set foot in (what used to be my beloved) NYC since Februrry 2005.  Often I will go food shopping at crazy hours to avoid the crowds.  I have mood swings that rival those of John McCain…and that’s primarily why I feel he should not be elected.  I fight the urge to have a drink on some days, and on others I will be very happy with my Coca Cola, thank you.  I sometimes get lost in a conversation and will completely “drop out” in mid sentence or completely forget what I was just talking about.  (This coming from a man who used to have a photographic memory).  I have peaceful nights and I have horrible nights sleeping.  I’ve now developed two bulging and degenerative discs in my back…and the list goes on.  At least I still look damned good for a 47 year old guy, huh?

Through all of this my only refuge and my only way my brain is able to function and concentrate is through writing and playing music.  Music, because it’s instinctual and has no language; it’s emotional and can bring things out of me that I cannot express verbally or on a page.  Writing is important to me because instead of dropping out of a conversation, I can stop and look back at what I wrote and pick up a thought.  I remain focused when I write.  I’m quite articulate at small social gatherings (just make sure you buy enough soda or Perrier), but after a while I will get very tired and become very non-conversive.

My daughters think I’m nuts writing like this all of the time now.  My youngest asked me yesterday, “Daddy, why do you write so much?”

“I’m saving the world, darlin’…saving the world”.  If she only knew.

NOTES TO MY FELLOW BLOGGERS: I’ll be updating (and re-organizing) my links section shortly, and I will most assuredly link back to you who have done so for me and/or requested that I do for you.  We are all either crazy or the only sane ones on the planet…but my, what a diverse bunch we are!  AKM: Keep fighting the good fight, and stay safe.

ONE FINAL, CRAZY NOTE: Some of you might remember part of the title of this post from a segment of “Rocky & Bullwinkle”.  I’ve made a few passing references to the program here and on other blogs…how can you not?  When I was looking for a title for the post and fan mail…well, once again R&B prove immortal!

TOMORROW: Never Knows

“If I take a lamp and shine it toward the wall, a bright spot will appear on the wall. The lamp is our search for truth… for understanding. Too often, we assume that the light on the wall is God, but the light is not the goal of the search, it is the result of the search. The more intense the search, the brighter the light on the wall. The brighter the light on the wall, the greater the sense of revelation upon seeing it. Similarly, someone who does not search – who does not bring a lantern – sees nothing. What we perceive as God is the by-product of our search for God. It may simply be an appreciation of the light… pure and unblemished… not understanding that it comes from us. Sometimes we stand in front of the light and assume that we are the center of the universe – God looks astonishingly like we do – or we turn to look at our shadow and assume that all is darkness. If we allow ourselves to get in the way, we defeat the purpose, which is to use the light of our search to illuminate the wall in all its beauty and in all its flaws; and in so doing, better understand the world around us.” -Citizen G’Kar (Babylon 5/jms)


7 responses to “A Not So Angry Interlude And Fan Mail From Some Flounder

  1. I just love it that you are a B5er too. I think that show is possibly the best epic work of the late 20th Century. Straczynski is Shakespeare for our time. But that’s just me. Thanks for the compliment… I’ll try not to hijack your blog anymore. If you don’t mind, I may reproduce all or part of my response to your Unheralded Paragons. Lost in Space and Rocky & Bullwinkle… I like your choice in entertainment. Keep savin’ the world.

  2. You’re not hoggin’ the blog…that’s my job! Keep on writing away!

    Hey, you wrote those responses, you own ’em…use as you see fit. If you quote from me though, I just ask proper credit be given.

    B5 is one of the single most influential pieces of work (written, cinema, TV or otherwise) I’ve come across. I have learned more about life, God, the universe and mankind’s place in it than any course or book I ever read. JMS is indeed one of the greatest writers of our generation (along with my personal favorite, Harlan Ellison).

    While I very much identify with the character of Sinclair on a spiritual level, G’Kar and Garibaldi were probably the characters I identified with the last time I watch the show…for obvious reasons!

  3. Speaking of “that day”, that was the last day that I ever worked for anyone. I was grinding a hardened mixture of fiberglass and epoxies for an acid containment tank, I’m talking these great big tanks you see at refineries and places like that, anyway this was a pit designed to contain the acid (hydrochloric in this case) in the event of a spill or leak from the holding tank, and I somehow managed to inhale a large cloud of fiberglass dust which irritated my throat and lungs to the point that I started bleeding from my lungs and trachia, my boss told me to “cough it out and get back to work” then one of the execs of the plant we were contracting for saw the blood and ordered me out of the plant and ordered my boss to give them a complete medical report on my condition, he then gave my boss one hell of a reaming for telling me to continue working.
    Anyway, I went home to call for an appointment to get my lungs and throat checked out (I ignored the suggestion from the plant manager to ge to emergency) and as I was talking on the phone I turned the tv on just in time to see the second plane hit the tower, for a second I thought it was a movie, then I turned the volume up and heard the news and what was happening began to sink in, I was in shock for the rest of the day, it’s like everything was kinda surreal, it was happening and every fiber of my being wanted to stop it from happening, I had these flashback like scenarios going through me head of “what if”, what if I could have done something to prevent it (of course I couldn’t have, but the thoughts were there anyway) I felt guilty for weeks because I saw thousands of people die and I just sat there in front of the tv and did nothing to stop it. I know that kind of thinking is just rediculous, but I couldn’t help it. The next day I drove to New York to volunteer to help with the clean up and search and rescue efforts (I’m a volunteer firefighter with a red card that is valid in all 50 ststes) but things were in such a chaos that I couldn’t get attached to any of the official angencies involved and others were not allowed in the area. So I stayed there for a week doing what I could for those I could help, giving blood, voluteering with local red cross units for humanitarian aid for the survivors and donating the last of my bank account to help these relief efforts. I left New York feeling somewhat less guilty for letting it happen (I know, stupid thoughts because I couldn’t have stopped it) but the “what if” questions still creep into my mind from time to time.
    Anyway, forgive me, I ran off from what I was going to say to start with. That was the last day that I ever did or ever will work for someone, all of those people in those buildings were working for someone, and they were told to stay there after the planes hit, and following those orders to stay cost many of them their lives, just as my boss had ordered me to stay after my lungs started bleeding (I was on steroids for a couple months after that to help heal the scarring in my lung tissues). I decided after that that my life would be in my hands from now on, not in the hands of someone else that was making money off of my work. I’ve been self employed ever since and my whole life has gotten so much simpler and easier, I work when I want where I want, and if something bothers me about a situation I handle it in my own way. And I have been on my own personal crusade against big oil companies and the Bush administration ever since. From the moment I saw that plane hit the tower I felt that Bush was somehow involved and I still do, and my main goal before I die is to find that one piece of evidence that can prove without a shadow of a doubt that he is responsible. That piece of evidence is out there somewhere and I wont give up on it until I find it or until I’m dead. I have been banned from government buildings and I am banned from contacting many government offices and websites, but I’m not giving up. I spent a long time feeling guilty over something that I had no control over, and before I die I want to see ALL of the guilty parties hang for what happened on that day, and it wasn’t just BinLadin, he had U.S. help and I’m sure of it. Someday I will prove it.
    By the way, I am also on the governments watch list as a possible “homegrown terrorist” because of my constant harassment of government angencies. I have stacks of letters here from Congressmen and Senators, many of them threatening, some of them simply asking me politely to stop my online bashing of the administration (I’ve had four seperate websites terminated) and even a few of them that stated that they supported me and my efforts but that their position in government didn’t allow for them to comment or aid my crusade in any way.
    I have no way to compare my little feelings of guilt with what you went through, but I want you to know that I have been actively looking for ALL of the real reasons that you had to go through it. And before it’s over I’ll find them.
    So perhaps that helps explain why I am so dead set against putting another war monger like Bush back in the Whitehouse. And McCain is definately another warmonger like Bush.

  4. @Dog:
    I’m amazed that they didn’t have you help out. I know people from all over who came to WTC the site (like I said, I hate calling it Ground Zero). I never had any opinions as to who was involved in the attacks for years. I just couldn’t accept that my own government might have been behind it. Then came the war and the lying, and I began to think it was possible that the Government was involved. I’ve probably read every conspiracy theory out there, and I just can’t pick one to say, “Yeah…that’s it”. All I know is that it happened, my head is totally screwed up as a result of it, and my life has never been the same. At this point, all I can do is hope whoever did it is caught.

    I don’t write my Congressmen and Senators because it’s going to do nothing. I called my Congressman about flooding in the area, and I got some clueless intern on the phone who yessed me to death and said the Congressman would get back to me. Nada…not even a letter…and I was *incredibly* nice when I called too. I have no faith in my State or Local Government either. So I don’t bother.

    I haven’t been to a protest or a rally in 25 years, and I sure as hell can’t now no matter how much I wanted to…the crowd thing and all that. I avoid Government offices at all costs, just because the building itself looks bureaucratic. The only government office I visit is the Post Office, and that’s once a year to pay my taxes if I have to pay that year.

    The only thing I do is write; on a few Blogs and other sites and on this one. I believe more can be achieved by getting my message out through the Internet, and as long as that remains free and we have a Constitution that guarantees free speech; that is my venue.

    Although my Blog has a lot to do with Politics (especially now), I would like to think I bring something else to the table: creative thought and an unshakable belief in Humanity and in that amazing document called the Constitution. If that document is not the apex of Human thought, than I don’t know what is. Some people have the Bible, but for me, it is the Constitution.

  5. On the trying to call Senators and stuff, I need to plug my own here, PA Senator Arlen Specter is a Republican, but in the issues that mattered (here in PA) he voted with the people and against the GOP, although he voted with the party approx. 70% of the time, most of those votes were on motions related to whether or not to close sessions early or to take a break in the sessions or on the order that legislation topics would be discussed. When these issues actually came to the table he tended to vote with the people, not the other politicians. But what was most impressive with him is that he actually answers his own phone, and he actually answers letters personally, not through members of his office. I wish all members of Congress and the House (from both parties) would make personal contact with those they represent like he does.

  6. On the not being able to help out bit, I found several ways to help out, as I said I helped the red cross and a few others, but I think their reluctance to talk to me on site was partly due to my appearance. I am and always have been a hippie, and my appearance has always been cause for disturbance for some reason. I get followed by security in every major department store I go to, and even in places like grocery stores I get watched by their security personnel. I have never been pulled over by the police for any reason (even a dead taillight) without them calling for backup, taking me out of the car and searching it thoroughly, usually with dogs brought in to sniff around too. All of this for nothing, even though I seem to get pulled over regularly (could my appearance be involved in that too?) I have gotten only two tickets in the last 35 years.

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