Friday, May 30, 2008

Dirty Little Secret #108

I fear disaster.

In London and New York it was terrorists. Much scarier than that, in Minnesota it was tornadoes. Nothing strikes fear into my heart like the sound of the tornado siren. The neighbors would stand outside and watch, hopefully, while I cowered with the children, the cat, the dog, the tortoise, and the weather radio in my split-level's basement bathroom. And it wasn't even a real basement! Dude!

And please don't ask me to ever consider living west of Buffalo, or south of the Mason-Dixon line. It's just not going to happen. Do you people know what's out there? Hurricanes! Earthquakes! Wildfires! Drought! Dude!

I always appreciated John Irving's novel, The World According to Garp. When Garp and Helen find their dream home, a small airplane crashes into it just as they leave with the realtor. Garp is delighted: it's pre-disastered! Nothing bad can happen here again, because we all know that lightening doesn't strike twice.

Sadly, for Garp that just isn't true.

So I freaked out a little when Cory Lidle crashed his plane into a building on E. 72nd, near Dirk's prior place of employment. We no longer lived in Manhattan at the time of the accident, but still, the notion of familiar environs touched by catastrophe is disconcerting. This leads Dirk to believe that I am C-R-A-Z-Y, as he is not in the least bothered by the thought that if this exact event had occurred three years prior, and he happened to be walking by, that he would have died a fiery death.

Nope, not bothered at all by that.

He likes to point out that, in the incident in question, no one except the pilot and instructor were killed. "See?" he says, "I would only have been INJURED in your imaginary world." He points out, as well, that on any street you'll ever walk down, someone is bound to have died there. He's helpful, that way.

So today, a crane collapsed in Manhattan, at E. 91st and First Avenue. A BLOCK AND A HALF FROM OUR OLD APARTMENT.

Dude! I walked by there! With my stroller! And my newborn! And Dirk is reading over my shoulder convinced that I need to be institutionalized!

Unlike Garp's pre-disaster, I am post-disastered. Either way, I don't like it.

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