Sunday, January 04, 2009

When It Exploded There Were Some Who Died

Chris W. was operating some kind of program for kids where they'd show up to his house - not his current house, some dream house - and he'd take them into the woods. It was unclear what was to happen there but it seemed like a powerful educational experience. I decided to join him one day. I showed up at the house as the kids were gathered in the driveway. Mike R. was there too. We walked down a path and bit by bit the kids melted into the woods. This did not seem to be cause for concern. Chris, Mike and I manned a makeshift stand beside the path, from which I suppose we could give guidance to passing kids. We also apparently had things for sale. One kid came by asking for a CD of Buddhist chants to meditate to. We didn't have that but I recommended a recording of the Tuvan Throat Singers. "Not Buddhist, though, right?" I said, second-guessing myself. My teeth were chattering for some reason.

We had a van with us - though at first we had been walking - which we had parked at the edge of the woods. Someone had left the hand brake off and it was rolling backwards down a road that led down into a town square. It crashed into a building. My perspective shifted several times: I was in the building, I was a detached observer, I was responsible for the truck. It was full of explosives. After it crashed into the building, actually penetrating the wall, there was a horrible pause before it exploded, when the people in the building thought they were safe but I - being responsible for the truck - knew they weren't. When it exploded there were some who died and some who survived. I imagined myself as someone in the building, seeing the truck coming, running out and to the side to save myself. Fortunately, the building was occupied by Nazis. I didn't need to regret their deaths.

I was at the Eagles game being played today, the wild-card game against the Vikings. It was in Philly rather than Minnesota. I sat at a bar perched over one end zone and ordered Johnny Black on the rocks. It was difficult to discern what was happening on the field. McNabb appeared to fumble, yet the crowd cheered. Later, an Eagle scored in the far end zone, possibly Brian Dawkins after an interception. At times I was on the field, able to scrutinize things closely; for example, the thin dusting of snow half-concealing the "Eagles" painted in the end zone. At the bar, I ordered another drink. The woman bartender said, "Johnny wants to make sure you're for real," or something to that effect, which I understood to mean "Am I a fan?"

"Just watch me, you'll see."

The Vikings recovered a fumbled kickoff for a touchdown and now it was 7-7 at halftime. I wandered around the stadium and saw Mark B., an old schoolmate from Storrs. We exchanged pleasantries and I walked back toward the bar.