Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Osama bin Laden dead

A day that falls apart and comes together again. I fell asleep before  I heard the news. Heard the phone clunking over and over in the night. Then I knew why the twitterverse was mad tweeting. Osama Bin Laden dead. 
Dealing with that and a busted molar crown  and remembering I have to move the car and just when its almost over with moving time the street cleaner comes and I lose my spot and then I get trapped behind a garbage truck and any chance of finding a spot is lost. Imus strangely reserved. The ABC guys who come later gloat. What a weird convergence with Holocaust Remembrance Day.
I need to head to the dental clinic but we have  to get ready for the Three Graces Theatre Company. I’m buying toilet seats, one junior, one regular, hand cleanser dispenser, toilet paper, paper towels. Arcadia looking for the good deals.  Danielle has made chocolate chip muffins. Wish I could  eat. Arcadia brought bagels. Steven has arrived and has gone to work on the toilet seats. Outside Warner Brothers and the crew for  Incredibly Loud and Extremely Close is setting up for their shoot, spilling over onto our steps. We sign our contract with them. 
Over bagels and muffins, speculation. Arcadia reports Hugo has all kinds of serious questions. Suspicions. Obama’s faltering Presidency. Full Islamic burial at sea?! Questions. And underneath it all, memories. Feelings. Like I always say, more than one thing true at a time. 
I can’t rejoice at a death. Though I understand the need for catharsis. For years, Kate gathered folks on our steps to ring bells every time the death penalty was carried out anywhere in the US.  Arthur and other homeless guys joined us. We rang against execution.
So how could I celebrate Osama’s execution?  The feelings of that day, the tension, the hyper reality, sunshine, the waiting. Our night at Ground Zero. The faces of workers in that night long procession  passing through our food lines. The angry debates at Union Square. The ubiquitous pictures of missing people. The signs, our grief is not a call for revenge...Waiting for the next shoe to drop. Feeling connected to every other city that had ever experienced what we had avoided up until now. (Well, except for the South.) The exhaustion and exhiliration of time outside  of time. 
Osama bin Laden as icon, totem, symbol. What do we do now  that he is dead? Ends nothing, except his life. Resolves nothing. The 9-11 deaths amazingly few in comparison to the deaths of civilians in Afghanistan, Iraq. At our hands.  Our creation of Osama in the waning days of the Cold War. No struggle here ended. Osama increasingly a footnote to history as people throughout the Middle East rise up to claim their own destiny. With their own hands. Don’t need us, thank you very much. No families brought to  closure, loved ones still dead.  The late Stalin era sound (and being) of homeland security. And yet I understand what brought people to celebrate in Times Square, at Ground Zero.It began with us, let it end with us. Not football. Not reality TV show. No greatness  in finding him after almost ten years.  Osama is dead. 
Can’t be seen at the clinic until 6. Back at the church, Tom has come over to check in. The stage manager has arrived. We’re holding our breath. He’s very happy. He gets McAlpin ready for rehearsal. Somewhere in this day, someone stole Danielle’s wallet and camera. From her bag.  Sorry that is still our reality.  I’m heading back to the clinic. And Osama bin Laden is still dead. 

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