“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
Sam: Why don’t have breast like Crystal’s
Melissa: When you have pecs like Pablo, then you can ask me that question
Conversation with my boyfriend at the time in 1990 or 1991
I met Pablo at a summer camp for gifted and talented kids in 1990. He had a tendency to go topless, which showed off his dedication to physical fitness. He had a girlfriend to whom he was faithful and that unavailability made him the most desired young man at camp. He was kind and never had a bad word to say about anybody.
Ten years later, it was around the time that people were wanting to have a 10 year reunion for our gifted and talented summer camp. I was in New York as a law clerk at Legal Aid and he was working for Sun. He traveled a lot but his office was in one of the World Trade Center buildings. I was in Brooklyn. We met for lunch in Brooklyn and ended up somewhere on Montague street. We chatted and caught up on old times. He had two kids. He had also lived in the DC area. He had good memories of our summer camp those many years ago. We talked about how amazing New York City was. We talked about plans for the future. Then almost as quickly as it began, lunch was over and we went back to our lives.
Life moved on. I went back to DC to finish my third year of law school. He went on raising his family. That fateful day I had already graduated law school and had been away from DC for about a month. I remembered my friend Becky mentioning that one of the towers had been hit by a plane. It was stunning. I remembered Legal Aid headquarters being near the towers. I was watching the tv when the plane hit the other tower. I don’t remember exactly when I remembered that Pablo worked in one of the buildings. I spent the rest of day in shock- trying to find Pablo. I had went out to eat dinner and spent the evening driving around. I came home to find a message on my voicemail from Pablo. He had changed jobs and was working on Long Island.
I remember this united sense of shock and grief. People wanted to know why. Then they wanted those who did it to pay. Then they wanted to make sure something like this would never happen again.
Along the way, I think a lot of people got lost and blinded by their fear. When I thought about what to write on this page regarding today, I was reminded of the Yoda quote that I put above. I wonder if the fear of a violent and sudden death on American soil has been exploited. There is no one hundred percent safe place. Life is full of risks and there are no guarantees for everything. Ultimately, we (or the US government) did find the “people who did this” but there is a question of cost.
Today, I am reminded today to cherish my friends. I am reminded that life isn’t fair nor does it always make sense. I am reminded that people are far more good and far more heroic than I can ever imagine. I am also reminded that people are far more evil than I ever thought. Also, life is short. I have no idea how much time I have here and I should make each moment count.