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October 2, 2005

Sometimes, It Is Just Fear

2005-10-02 accident.jpg

I do not get scared in the city often. Sure, I have been times when I have made dumb choices and taken the wrong shortcuts down silent, unlit streets late at night. For the most part, however, my home is full of comfort. I neither trust nor suspect the people around me. I just live.

Helicopters, on the other hand, scare the crap out of me. On our way home to Park Slope yesterday evening, the sound of propellers ricocheted off of everything, like pumping thunder beneath the F train overpass. A medivac hovered in tight circles, followed by numerous rushing fire trucks and rescue units. At that moment, as emergency vehicles seemed to swarm on land and air, we froze. Holding one another�s arms, we debated whether we should run home or investigate.

For each moment like this, there is a real fear�a glimmer of doom�that I wonder if we will ever shake. In this case, a man had driven his motorcycle over the Third Street Bridge. While a disaster in its own right, this was not a crisis. There was no need to check one�s cell phone for connectivity or rush home to CNN. But that overriding fear, if only for a split second, was and always is too real. Last night I realized that, whether I want to be or not, I am more afraid of national disaster than city crime. Far too often, the likelihood of a large-scale event feels more real in my mind than a mugging. That makes me feel very sad.

Very sad, indeed.

Posted by callalillie at October 2, 2005 7:43 PM | Introspect , My Country


the terrorists have won! now, who that terrorist might be is another question.

Posted by: tien at October 3, 2005 9:31 AM

well, i didn't say that i was frozen in fear. just unnerved by my impulses.

Posted by: corie at October 3, 2005 9:36 AM

The helicopters scared the crap out of our cat Winston. When the first one flew over, he jumped in the air, landed on his water bowl, and took off to the bedroom. For the rest of the evening, he hid under the bed. It felt like we were living in LA or something.

Posted by: Dennis at October 3, 2005 9:43 AM

The sound of a low-flying plane still jars me, shoots fear through me for an awful instant. It is worse than the shot of fear that I get from a person passing too close or a menacing eye.

Posted by: beth at October 3, 2005 10:34 AM

reminds me of a night earlier this summer when I heard a mysterious boom while walking home - really spooked me & even though there was NOTHING on the radio & NO indication that it was anything significant, I couldn't set my mind at ease until the other NYC blogging kayaker told me that he & his wife had seen what made the noise (one stray firework, as it turned out) - I wrote about that -

here's a link (if this works...)

I wouldn't say the terrorists won - but they sure changed things.

Posted by: bonnie at October 5, 2005 6:34 PM

Yeah, things changed. When I was in grammar school we had 'take cover' drills in case of nuclear attack. We tucked out little six year old heads under our desks and made sure we were wearing the dog tags we all had been issued. No nightmares there. Quite naive, but when my sweet daughter accuses me of paranoia I just yell "Take cover!!!" on the top of my lungs. That really scares the cats.

Posted by: Vickie at October 6, 2005 7:26 PM

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