Friday, October 30, 2009

Bombs, wars, and nuclear hystera.

I'm sitting here at work, listening to bombs blasting in the distance. It's disconcerting, even knowing that it's only for training; that the sounds won't be coming any closer. I can hear the blasting sounds from my house, 50 miles away, but working in a military town, just 5 miles from a military base has allowed me to ponder some things.

Can you imagine not knowing whether or not that sound was ebbing closer to you after a night of raids? Can you imagine being in an active war zone, where you can't even guess if you'll have a home, family or even be alive yourself from day to day?

I've been really trying to plan some weekends with family in the up coming months; trying to see everyone who won't be able to make it for the Holidays. Can you imagine not knowing if your tomorrow brings life, more or less a trip out to eat with relatives? Can you imagine not even knowing if your relatives are alive, because they might live near where the blasting sounds are coming from?

Isn't that a frightening thought? We consider the unknown bad when we might be a little short on bill money. There are people this very second, and their unknown is, will I survive the day.

I can remember after 9/11 having to read Alas Babylon. What a traumatizing thing for a teacher to do. The entire country is on the brink of mass hysteria, and she forces us to read a book detailing a nuclear war, and the fall out that ensues. Don't get me wrong, I loved the book. Read it multiple times actually, but the human psyche has ways of undermining the fragile, emotional human on the outside. I used to be so afraid everytime I heard that blasting sound. I would actually think we were being attacked. I used to see the bright amber glow of the moon, and squeeze my eyes shut in fear that it was a mushroom cloud. (I kid you not, I'm a fearful person.)

Now I can see that those fears were borderline irrational. But still, a person who has a rampant imagination can really create some awful situations in their own head. Mild hysteria can bring out things in people you just wouldn't imagine.

So while my fear is gone, I still wince a little with each boom. I still have scenarios play out in my mind as to how I will get home when/if I survive the attack that will surely come one day to one of the nation's largest Army bases.

Excuse me while I got build my fallout shelter. I think I'll just stay there, come getme when it's over.


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