would YOU kill an
                          innocent person?

Picture of the Day
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September 19, 02001

the garage

Got a book about absinthe out from the library last week. It's what a lot of artists in Paris in the late 1800s and early 1900s drank while they sat around waiting for the world to end. The world didn't quite end, although WWI was a solid attempt, and some would say it's been all downhill ever since.

Tonight, I drank a boilermaker and an Irish coffee in an English bar, soccer on the TV. The referee collects donations from the players for a victims' relief fund. It's a solemn occasion and the stadium's quiet. So far, the mainstream press has been calling it an American tragedy, but it strikes me more as a crime against humanity and I wonder how many non-Americans were killed.

I ride with Steve and Kristin to a peace march on Capitol Hill. There are thousands present, marching quietly shoulder to shoulder, taking up the eastbound lanes of the street, stretching for blocks ahead of and behind us. Some sing "We shall overcome," others meditate over their candles, faces hovering in the flickering light, but for the most part it's small talk, and at first I don't like all this chatter, would prefer silence, singing, or maybe even some chanting, but then I realize that small talk is the sound of peace, and I'm grateful for the murmuring, the friendly introductions and exchange of recipes.

The Garage is jumping, all 18 pool tables in use on a Wednesday night. The bouncer makes us check our signs at the door--WAR IS ALSO TERRORISM and AN EYE FOR AN EYE MAKES THE WHOLE WORLD BLIND is too controversial. "Who could be against peace?" I ask, and the doorman shrugs, as if to say he's just following orders and if it weren't his job he'd certainly agree. Drink, drink, drink, white russians and beer, blot the pain, the memory. Don't think. It'll all be the way it was before the 11th--and it already is, only we can no longer pretend to not see.

Two of Terry's friends OD'd this week. It's a lot easier to not want to go on living since September 11th. Depression seems to be setting in, just when the mainstream media tries to project an attitude that it's back to business. Don't worry, they seem to be saying, it was just a bad dream. Now go back to sleep...