Hey, guys, it’s Meg again. Sorry it’s been so long. Steve’s still gone, and things have been just crazy at the office. Take today for example…
Usually, I am quite thankful for the view here at BuzzFlash HQ. Metra trains chug by regularly and we can see greenery as well as a partially obscured view of downtown Chicago from our sunny office windows. Even watching the expressway can be entertaining, especially when traffic slows to an unenviable crawl.
Today, however, I’d give it all back for a quiet bunker in an undisclosed location. Our expansive windows are playing host to a near constant parade of aircraft streaming into the city for the Chicago Air and Water Show this weekend.
Most people would love this air-conditioned preview of North Beach’s weekend festivities on a Thursday afternoon during work. But the sound of metal ripping though air sounds much too much like fighter pilots and incoming explosives to a paranoiac like me.
I know I am the minority in this, at least in the United States. If faced with the situation I was confronted with at work today, the majority of Americans would first wonder, “Hmm… is there an air show going on this weekend?” and not, “Is my fair city about to be reduced to smoldering rubble?”
Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an overreaction. But I remember watching the faces of Guatamaltecos turn white as sheets whenever they heard a helicopter in the distance. Sure, they lived through a 30-year civil war (one encouraged and perpetuated by our own government, incidentally), which involved armed men jumping from helicopters and kidnapping innocent citizens. That’s probably enough to make anyone a little cagey.
Unfortunately, you can see that look on the faces of millions all around the world. It made me realize what a truly privileged citizenry we are. Not for the wealth and convenience we have as citizens of the United States, but for the war wounds that we don’t have.
Air raids, invasions, and bombings are absolutely foreign to most of us. Especially my generation. I mean, we didn’t even have to crouch under our desks, armed only with the lie that the fetal position and wooden planks would protect us from a nuclear attack. We can’t imagine aircraft carriers charging into San Francisco Bay. The notion of an occupying force patrolling our street (yes, that one that we live on) is entirely alien to us. The deliberate toppling of the Washington Monument by a foreign government is inconceivable heresy.
So I can’t help but wonder what’s making me so jumpy. And am I the only one?