What a night here in the Enemy Lines compound. Spent most of the weekend working on my latest article for Star Trek Magazine, finally sending it in to my editor, Paul “Oi, you!” Simpson, around 6 p.m. Sunday evening. “Finally my weekend can start,” I joked. After dinner, watching some TV with the family, and cleaning up the kitchen, I sat back down at the keyboard with a sudden clear plan for a writing project. A little bit into that research it was no longer so clear that this was the project to turn my career around, so I caught up on Facebook for a bit, then realized I hadn’t yet posted a new blog, something I’ve vowed to do at least once a week and the deadline had arrived.
I stared at the blank page for a little while, coming up empty. Then, out of nowhere, I remembered something about the Trek article, looked back through my email, and confirmed it: I’d written the article to the wrong specs. My piece was a few hundred words over. I start slicing and dicing the piece, then hear the ding of incoming mail. It was an update from Truthout: bin Laden dead, Obama to address nation soon. I clicked the link and kept working on the article until the feed went live, and watched the president’s announcement.
The sense of relief or joy or closure I would have expected upon finally hearing the news of the end of this loathsome person didn’t materialize. I found myself thinking instead of al Qaeda reprisals, of the never-ending conflicts in the world, of the religious hysteria so often mixed in. But I also had to keep working on my article, because a deadline’s a deadline.
After finishing the condensed version and sending it off to Paul, I popped back onto Facebook to see comments from friends across the country. One person had posted a picture showing the Statue of Liberty holding the severed head of bin Laden. I found it grotesque on a variety of levels. The beheadings of Americans by Islamic extremists over the last several years has been reprehensible, and buying into that mentality and attaching it to a symbol of liberty . . . that’s just wrong-headed to my way of thinking.
Watching CNN video feeds from New York, of crowds gathering at Ground Zero, I find myself thinking of my NYC friends, hoping that somehow they will sleep better tonight.