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September 17, 2001
a year ago
two years ago
three years ago
four years ago

Concentration

I had a huge amount of time to work today. John and Paul took Jet with them when they all went adventuring. John stocked the diaper bag up with formula and solid foods and they fed Jet as they went through NCAR and Celestial Seasonings and a couple other places, including China Gourmet for lunch.

I only had to pump once, at lunch time, and managed to get nearly five ounces with the manual pump. That was a first, and I was pretty glad that it actually worked. Of course, the moment I started I got interrupted by the garage builder wanting to dump a few tons of road bed material on the site, and then the phone rang... after having no interruptions all day, it was mildly frustrating. Of course I had promised John that I would pay the rock guys when they dumped, so I had to stop for that. The phone call was a wrong number. Bah.

Other than that, however, everything went really well. It was just so sweet to be able to concentrate like crazy for once and just do things. To write down entire thoughts without having to interrupt them to jolly Jet or change a diaper or whatever needed doing at that moment. I got to work and work and at lunch I got to pump and then ride the exercise bike and shower while my toaster oven pizza baked. Then I took the pizza up with me to the computer and ate while I got to work some more. That was so nice.

Simple realities make me really happy now. That was just really sweet.

When the boys came home, I let Jet nurse and then I ran off to my five o'clock appointment with CeLena. It was a good session on the most part. My wrist isn't getting well quickly, but it is starting to feel a bit better each day. Just bit by bit, and I hope that when I go off the anti-inflammatories that it doesn't just all go back to what it was. I think it's healing some. But I made sure CeLena was really gentle with the actual damaged tendon. She did great work on all the muscles that have over compensated to support the injury. Some of those really hurt, but she got them to relax and unknot. That was very useful.

I got back and John asked if I wanted to eat Japanese food. I thought that was pretty cool, so the four of us went to Sakura's and enjoyed a good sushi dinner together. Jet was kind of loud to start, but once I realized he probably wanted something harder to gnaw on and saved my soup spoon for him. The minute he got his gums on the hard bowl of the spoon he got a lot more quiet. Paul was actually able to put him down and eat. Quite the improvement. I really enjoyed the hot miso soup, as it had been a fairly chilly day in the house.

In the morning there had been a couple hours of solid rain, and it felt so good to hear it falling steadily on the windows. Perfect tea weather, and I made myself a mug of hot tea and sipped it slowly as I got stuff done. It was comforting. After the attack last week, everything comforting was good to enjoy.

The sushi was great, as usual, and I plowed happily through yellowtail, salmon, and eel. John got some rolls that we all shared. It wasn't all that exotic, but it was very comforting food for me. I needed that.

Paul told us some stories about his time in Oklahoma City this last week. He was there training to be an aviation medical examiner, one of the doctors that examines pilots to be sure that they're okay to fly. The FAA has a certain number of them per region and trains them themselves. The training includes being put into a number of critical situations simply to experience what it's like. One thing that they'd done included being put into a pressurized plane, going up to some altitude (I *think* it was around 20,000 feet, though a lot of commercial airlines fly even up at 40,000) and having the cabin depressurize. They were told to experience at least three symptoms of being at that high an altitude and then put their oxygen masks on.

One guy deliberately left his off for far longer than anyone else. By the time everyone got concerned for him, he couldn't even understand why everyone was gesturing at their heads at him. Instead of realizing that they were telling him to put on his mask, he started rubbing his head. Someone finally just put it on him themselves. Now I can see why Everest climbers make no sense.

He also spoke of the FAA closing down on Tuesday, of having to sit around and have nothing to do while just getting all day coverage of the attack in his hotel room. Instead, he went out, and went over to look at the memorial of the Oklahoma City bombing. There were lots of people there, remembering.

I have seen lots of buildings blow up on TV and only on TV. There is a remove there, I know. A remove that just can't be touched except by the reality of that kind of destruction. I can try to sympathize, but I'll never know. I don't think I want to know, really. I might go, someday, to look and to know, though still at a remove of time. All the people, including me, who talk about horror, about being affected by the images. Sure, we're affected, but it's almost the logical thing to say. It's the thing everyone says, everyone should feel. Most of it has to be conceptual, not real, not visceral.

There was a news reporter, tonight, who was in New York. He'd traveled there by bus from Denver, and he was walking through the memorials at the park there, and he was speechless. He admitted that he was speechless, that he couldn't convey to the audiences at home what it was he was experiencing. He could touch on it conceptually, but he knew that the little screen that was the whole of his domain wasn't enough to convey what he had discovered at Ground Zero. And I could see what he was saying. I could know that there was something I couldn't know. That was impressive of the reporter, where so many are so blithe and so glib, his inability to be eloquent conveyed more to me, I think, than any cookie cutter rhetoric could have.

And so it was with Paul when he just shook his head at trying to describe what it was like at the bombing memorial on that day.

Some things I do not know. And I think, in some ways, I'm glad.

The evening was quiet. We watched some Good Eats as Paul was interested in what it was like, as I'd been writing down all the titles for all the shows that I've captured in the last few years. I seem to have 48 episodes. I don't know if there are more. It includes both the Thanksgiving brined turkey special and the special a year later for the post-Thanksgiving hostage taking of Alton's sister Marsha Brady Brown (giggles).

Anyway, it was nice. While Jet was eating his last meal of the day, Paul went down and got him his gift for him. It was Whoozit cloth book in a plastic case. Jet, of course, loved the case, and swung at the book a few times to make it rattle, but was relatively uninterested other than that, as much from being tired as anything. He'll probably love it later.

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Copyright 2001 Liralen Li. All Rights Reserved.