Saturday, October 26, 2002

because I am scared that American politics died yesterday, that maybe we did

I am once again sad, I am once again at a computer. Yesterday, after my Russian Novel class, I went to the computer lab to e-mail Miriam Wallace, telling her that I would not be in class. While I was there I went to to read more about the capture of the snipers, and what do I see instead as the top headline: Something about Paul Wellstone something about Dead something about Plane Crash. Those were the words I saw - I didn't have time to connect the words into a sentence. I just saw those words in big font and knew that he was dead, knew what those symbols meant, what the sentence would say. I gasped loudly. My capacity to be shocked did not show itself during any of this school drama of the past week, it has not shown itself through numerous family crises, through so much shit, I take those horrible events just as another thing in the flow of reality, a little speedbump, shrugging my shoulders and saying, "Well, what can you do?" But yesterday, the world did not seem to have even that sense. My shoulders crumbled, and if I were a more emotional person, I would have cried. I did not know what I could do, what should be done, did not know if anyting even could be.

Paul Wellstone has been one of my (few) idols since high school, one person that I thought was so righteous, so real, so what everyone should be like, what I wanted to be like. I remember my Government teacher, Mr. Chorpenning mentioning him a couple of times, telling us how he had run his campaign and from that point of time, I have been enamored with Wellstone. When I worked on Bill Bradley's campaign in New Hampshire, I was blessed enough to hear Wellstone speak quite a few times since he went out and stumped for Bradley. It was always so funny to watch the two and how different they were. Wellstone would speak before Bradley, getting the crowd pumped for him, giving an introduction - and Wellstone would raise hell like no public speaker I've ever seen - he engaged his audience in such a visceral way, he kept on pointing his finger into the air, jabbing it at the sky, getting more and more impassioned with his tone, raising the crowd to a crescendo of applause with every single person jumping to their feet to applaud Wellstone, his fire infecting anyone who was lucky enough to hear it. And then there was Bradley. He would come out and talk in his not so exciting way, and it just never seemed to compare to the fire that Wellstone had.

I managed to push this news, his death to the back of my mind after a while, started to enjoy the weekend, remembered the good news, that John Moore is the coolest professor ever, that I was once again in Greek and that my future at New College no longer looked so bleak. I played Scrabble with Drew Geer, lost by 99 points, and then went and gorged myself on the yummiest sausage ever at the wall last night. Then I went to Beki's room to see if Wallace had wrote me back and then I saw the news again, I remembered again that one of my heroes was now dead - and I went back to the wall, my excitement about sausage tempered by this news. And I had forgot again until I came to the library just now with Bonnie, and again I am at a computer sad with life, and how capricious it seems.

Now I am going to go sneak into the movies and watch Jackass and Punch Drunk Love, and soon I will forget about all of this again. The knowledge that the world is not just today, that it is not contained within this temporal space, that there is an impermanence to it all, that it contains a yesterday and a tomorrow and even the possible lack of a tomorrow - this knowlege will be lost to today - I will constitue myself, my existence in petty activities, will fill up my day with them because now the shock has lost its value, has faded to mild disgust with the world, and now I can shrug my shoulders again and say to no one, not even to you, not even to myself, just saying it because that's what the perfomance calls for, will say, "Well, what can you do?"

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