innocent bystander //a weblog

Detail of original by glockgal.  Click on image to see her work!

Friday, September 14, 2001

6:45 PM: 

and one link for remembrance

5:49 PM: 

people are thinking of bob dylan; his lyrics are in the air. but i've got to throw one in for leonard cohen, and his song "democracy."

It's coming through a hole in the air, 
from those nights in Tiananmen Square. 
It's coming from the feel 
that this ain't exactly real, 
or it's real, but it ain't exactly there. 
From the wars against disorder, 
from the sirens night and day, 
from the fires of the homeless, 
from the ashes of the gay: 
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A. 
It's coming through a crack in the wall; 
on a visionary flood of alcohol 
from the staggering account 
of the Sermon on the Mount 
which I don't pretend to understand at all. 
It's coming from the silence 
on the dock of the bay, 
from the brave, the bold, the battered 
heart of Chevrolet: 
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A. 

It's coming from the sorrow in the street, 
the holy places where the races meet; 
from the homicidal bitchin' 
that goes down in every kitchen 
to determine who will serve and who will eat. 
From the wells of disappointment 
where the women kneel to pray 
for the grace of God in the desert here 
and the desert far away: 
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A. 

Sail on, sail on 
O mighty Ship of State! 
To the Shores of Need 
Past the Reefs of Greed 
Through the Squalls of Hate 
Sail on, sail on, sail on, sail on. 

It's coming to America first, 
the cradle of the best and of the worst. 
It's here they got the range 
and the machinery for change 
and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. 
It's here the family's broken 
and it's here the lonely say 
that the heart has got to open 
in a fundamental way: 
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A. 

It's coming from the women and the men. 
O baby, we'll be making love again. 
We'll be going down so deep 
the river's going to weep, 
and the mountain's going to shout Amen! 
It's coming like the tidal flood 
beneath the lunar sway, 
imperial, mysterious, 
in amorous array: 
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A. 

Sail on, sail on ... 

I'm sentimental, if you know what I mean 
I love the country but I can't stand the scene. 
And I'm neither left or right 
I'm just staying home tonight, 
getting lost in that hopeless little screen. 
But I'm stubborn as those garbage bags 
that Time cannot decay, 
I'm junk but I'm still holding up 
this little wild bouquet: 
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A. 

Thursday, September 13, 2001

2:19 AM: 

my situation on tuesday may have been a little unusual. i'm out of a job, so i've been staying in my apartment all day. it's been really wearing on me for a while, and i stay up nights until dawn because somehow it makes everything a little more tolerable. so i was watching the 6 a.m. local news when everything started. and as much as anyone could have, i saw it all on t.v. i have heard that it is a different feeling between seeing the things that have happened live on t.v. and seeing them after the fact, where the footage may be exactly the same, but there is just a little more psychological distance to it. i saw every last piece of it all, dazed and shocked, tired, as a late night became an all-nighter, and alone. periodically i called my friends and family. to all of them locally, i gave them the first news of it. and how does one even introduce the subject? I didn't even try to segue, the shock was so great, and instead rushed it out in one breath; "the world trade center has been hit by hijacked airplanes, both towers. hijackers have also attacked the pentagon and pittsburgh, and maybe the white house. i just want to let you know, because i don't know if they're going to hit l.a. next." and thank god they didn't. but this was generally followed by a pause. then, "what?"

but i wasn't on the phone all the time. and that was what was hard. i've been going days at a stretch lately without seeing a single soul besides the people at the local supermarket (and here in west l.a., they might as well be automatons, as they don't talk to you, except to make passes at you), and one might say i'm depressed, especially as i haven't called my psychologist in weeks, and i was supposed to, just to chat. gosh, it sounds different once i say it. but to me, i've been letting weeks shrink into days. three weeks? it's been three days. my friends have been slowly floating away. the summer has been hard enough. now to process this, this event meant to demoralize and terrorize, which must be made into an event which strengthens and resolves, all on my own, it is just very hard.

Wednesday, September 12, 2001

8:08 PM: 

Coping with the Emotional Fallout

Tuesday, September 11, 2001

8:54 AM: 

disneyland closed.

8:53 AM: 

lapd on full tactical alert. united states air traffic system shut down. the world trade towers no more. these are things i never expected to see. a hole in the side of the pentagon.

to see the world trade towers collapse... the world trade towers. i learned about them in elementary school. they were symbols of our nation's affluence, our engineering ability. our commerce. they no longer exist.

los angeles city hall shut down.

i think every news web site is down. even the guardian and bbc servers in england are glutted. and what a strange night it had been for me already. we'd just had two earthquakes in a day, on a fault line running through downtown that had never been active before. i'd been wound tighter than anything, and it seems cosmic, as if there were already a whirl of chaos whipping the world round, and that los angeles was caught in it too. now each event comes with greater and greater surreality. here we are, and what words are there to describe the feeling of this morning? these are things we've only read of in novels, only seen in movies.


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Image detail of original by glockgal