Well hello (she said, a streaking shout in a void of emptiness).
It’s been a long, long while since I’ve been on here. Oh no, oh no.
I’ve been reading over what I posted (almost a year ago now!) and it seems that I’ve apologized a lot. And that didn’t seem to work out well for me, so maybe I’ll just start saying some thoughts, and then post them, and then see what happens.
Oh no, oh no.
I’ve been having a lot of thoughts about terrorism, recently, and who is to blame, and who is not to blame, and what we should and shouldn’t do about it. I made these thoughts into a story. That story is written below.
“I can’t feel my legs anymore,” said Milo.
Shay looked down at the blanket choking her legs, suffocating her feet. “Yeah. Me neither.” She pressed her ear against the door of the basement. “I think they’re still outside.”
Milo shivered. “Are we going to die?” he asked.
Shay pressed her ear harder against the door. “I think I hear sirens.” It was either that, or the ringing in her own ears. Milo shivered again. It was cold, and dark, and they were alone. Alone together.
“You never think it’s going to be you,” said Milo. “You build the basement, and you listen to the procedures, and you hear about it on the news, but you always think: It’ll never be me. They’re never going to reach my town. My house. It’s your house. It’s supposed to be…I don’t know. Safe.”
“Safety died a long time ago,” Shay said. Her words condensed on a cloud of vapor and floated, fairylike, through the room to slap Milo across the face.
“You know the craziest thing? I can’t even figure out who the terrorists are. Them, or us.”
Outside, there was a large crash. Neither of them flinched.
“We’re the ones sitting in the bunker.” Shay rubbed her hands together. “We’re the ones getting bombed. We’re the ones that might—” She didn’t finish.
There was another crash, and then a long silence. Then Milo whispered: “Do you believe in karma?”
Shay stared at her knees in careful concentration. “Not anymore.”
“I didn’t believe in it either, before all of this.” Milo furrowed his brow. “I used to be a big Wall Street goon. Like, the kind of guy that politicians are always making noise about. The amount of…greed, and violence, and hatred that I was constantly surrounded by…I mean, you can’t believe in anything except for money, when you’re around that. And—and after the first attack, I remember one of my buddies came over to my apartment, and he was saying all of this racist stuff about them—you know how it is—and I could hear my own voice in his. Like, I had said that stuff before. So, I mean, who can blame them for trying to annihilate us? I worked for a firm that screwed them over daily—we would buy oil from them for dirt cheap ,turn around, and make money hand over fist. It’s disgusting, the way we use people here. So this—we deserve this. We deserve to be here.” He held his palm up against the metal wall. “I deserve this. So, yeah. I believe in karma.”
“So, what? We just all deserve to die?” Shay asked.
“Sure. Every last one of us.” Milo shifted his weight and winced. “Aren’t you tired of humanity yet?”
“I don’t believe in karma,” said Shay, “But I believe in goodness. I believe that people have goodness in them.”
Milo chuckled—a raw sound that grated on Shay’s ears. “We live in a reality of evil, kid. Goodness is a pipe dream.”
Another crash. The bunker shook. Neither of them flinched.
“Who says dreams aren’t real?” Shay whispered. Her words were shrouded in golden desperation.
“The earth is round, right?”
“But have you ever seen it?”
“Have you ever seen the earth? Actually seen it. With your own eyes, not just a picture.”
“Of course not.”
“And have you seen radio waves? Or—or your spleen?”
“Of course not. Neither of us have ever seen any of those things. They’re dreams. But we believe in them, and that’s what makes them real. And—and if goodness is not a reality, then I hope that the earth is flat.”
Then, it was quiet. So quiet that Shay and Milo could both hear each other’s heartbeats—a reminder that they were nothing more than churning typhoons of blood and flesh, bone and muscle, heart and soul; thrown incessantly forward into inevitability.
Life is scary, but I think we’re all getting better at it. Who knows? Maybe I’ll finally figure out how to run a blog.