Friday, September 11, 2009

Just one more little story for 9/11

Several days after 9/11, my then-husband and I ordered dinner from our favorite Middle Eastern restaurant. When the delivery guy pulled into our driveway, I saw that it was the same guy as always, the one who loved our little mutt, Comet, so much that he could barely tear himself away from her after his business had been concluded. So I opened the front door to let her run to him, as usual, and he knelt down to pet her and rub her ears, as usual. A moment later, he looked up, and I saw tears running down his face. I was confused, and he turned back and gestured to a sign that my husband had hand-lettered and stuck in the ground in our front yard.

The sign said "Justice, not war."

"Thank you for that," he said. "Thank you." He wiped his tears with the back of his hand and walked toward me, handing me our order. "It has been so hard. We get calls all day long. Threatening calls. And my cousin...someone threw a rock through his window."

"That's terrible," I said. "That's shocking," I said, though I did not really think it was shocking.

"We are Lebanese," he continued. "We are Christians. We are not Muslims."

"It shouldn't matter," I countered, softy. He looked at me, and I shrugged.

"You are good people," he said finally.

"So are you."

After I paid him and he drove away, it occurred to me, I mean I think it really hit me hard for the first time that a tremendous price was about to be paid for what had just happened, and it was going to be paid by all the wrong people.


Doc said...

It's ALWAYS paid by the wrong people.

Great story dear.


Dad E said...

This is a brutal reminder, although beautifully told, of what happens within a society when people are fearful. The clinging to their religion and guns crowd and others are too easily stimulated to act out their fears against innocents with all the self-righteous they create to disuade their madness.

Bubs said...

After 9/11 I was a sergeant working day shift. One of my assignments was to visit all the middle-eastern businesses in town, introduce myself, and let them know we'd investigate any crimes against them. Almost all the shops and restaurants in town are run by Assyrians, who are Christian, and more than once I heard some version of "oh no, not again" as they remembered what they went through during the first Gulf war.

GETkristiLOVE said...

9/11 is a sad day in itself. But what makes me really sad is that the first thing that pops into my head when people say, "Remember 9/11" is not for the tragedy itself and how horrible that was, but instead, how BushCo used the fear or the American people after the event for their own ill-fated agenda.

Nice story sis.

bubbles said...

You *are* good people, Vikki. I wonder if we heard more about the goodness in the world, to offset the evil that we see and hear all the time... would the good spread, you know, by example? Just a wish.

kittens not kids said...

Bubs's comment here makes me feel good, suddenly, and slightly reassured. and your story, of course, makes me feel sad.

somehow, when people start talking about REMEMBER 9-11, what they really mean is: let's talk about ME and MY emotional trauma seeing 9-11 on tv from my livingroom in Idaho.

all the remembering is about ourselves, how we, personally, felt. and not about the actual crime itself, and its fallout - the big picture, the big prices paid by so many people, over and over again.

Liberality said...

Two wrongs don't make a right. I told my kids this constantly, so much so, that they quote it back to me and others all the time. (It's become a family joke of sorts.) The ends do not justify the means. This country should not be at war in the Middle East, should not torture, and should not persecute others because of their color or religion or whatever is different. But you knew all that. What a sad day for so many in this country.

Marshall Park Slope said...

I tried leaving this comment the other day, and I am guessing Vikk, this late, you may be the only that reads it, but I felt it important to leave anyway...

This post hits close to home. Vikki knows me now, which is to say she didn't know me in 2003. Being unread, surrounded by the "right" and believing in "shock and awe", I got red faced telling my Dad, we got to "take it to em" back in 2003. He calmly told me "we are in the wrong place, with no idea what we are doing, and no exit plan; this is the biggest mistake since Vietnam". It wasn't long after, knowing things weren't exactly going in the right direction, I decided read up and educate myself about what was going on. needless to say, my feelings have changed about Iraq and a lot of other things.

But to further Vikki's point, I have a friend who told me just a couple of months ago, "you need to get beyond Iraq". My instinct was to drive to his house and kick him in his teeth. Could he tell the loved one of a fallen soldier that, or any one of the thousands of Iraqi's that have been killed innocently or misplaced from there own home? Indeed, so many of the wrong people have paid the Ultimate price.

Grant Miller said...

"The Plot Against America." The best post 9/11 novel that has nothing to do with 9/11 yet describes post 9/11 America to a T.

Larry Jones said...

So sad, the way we are.

dguzman said...

Great story, Vik, and your conclusion was dead on then, and I think it always will be.