Hannibal V Constantine (hannibalv) wrote,
Hannibal V Constantine
hannibalv

October 23, 2001

I heard the news today, oh boy…

I face a conundrum with this writing.

I discovered something today that shook me to my core.

And I can't tell you about it.

Out of respect for those involved, I have agreed not to mention details.

A description of "a traumatic event-which occurred during the second Clinton administration-happened to someone I am close to and I found out about it today" will have to suffice.

Don't bother to ask for more detail, you won't get it out of me.

That's the bad news. The good news (which is a euphemism, there is no good news today) is that I think I've found a way I can talk about it.

I'm going to talk about my reaction.

Get comfortable, I don't know how long this will take.

The first thing I have to say is that I really shouldn't be allowed a reaction anyway. Well, that's unfair. I shouldn't be allowed to be concerned with my reaction. But I'm the one who's been between my ears for the 14-plus hours since I heard. Mine is the only perspective I have a constant grip on, and the only perspective I can honestly express.

My second point is another selfish one: does this revelation necessarily have to change my relationship with this person? If so, how? The temptation is to treat them like something of a china doll-delicate and precious and in need of careful handling. But that would be unfair to them, probably to the point of being insulting.

One of the questions I asked, repeatedly, while doing the survey in the wake of the September 11 events was "Were you so confused and upset that you didn't know how to feel?" That is about where I stand now. My hands shook for a while after making the discovery. Anger, sorrow, impotence, fear, guilt…they're all in the mix.

I admit, part of me is wondering if even writing this much about it is a good idea. But the larger part of me says I can't not talk about it. I don't have time right now to go into the story of the elephant in the room-and I'm a little ashamed of the fact that I stole it from a Dear Abby column-but this is an ideal example of that. If response is enough, I'll explain it at a later time.

(BTW, if you think I'm playing "The Pronoun Game" with my repeated use of "them" and "this person", you're goddamn right.)

The last thing I have to say about the subject is this, trite as it may be: hug someone you love today. And tomorrow.

Today's Link Of The Day is, on a lighter subject, the National Mole Day Foundation. October 23 marks Mole Day, set aside to promote the teaching of chemistry in schools. It was a blast when I experienced in high school, and it seems the phenomenon has only gotten larger. See what the fuss is all about. http://www.moleday.org/

JHR
10/24/2001 4:10 AM
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