LC Van Savage
Now Is The Hour?
The urge to huddle is great upon me now. Are you feeling it too? Iíve most certainly experienced this feeling since Nine Eleven as I suppose many of us have, but of late itís been far worse. The urge to huddle gets stronger each day.
Our three sons and their families donít live too far from us; one is four minutes away, one three hours and the other seven. So weíre close enough I guess, if we ever do have to gather quickly and tightly together, to huddle and be afraid.
Lately when weíve had to part from these kids of ours, from their wives and especially their young after a happy visit at their homes or ours, a feeling comes over me I dislike but cannot be rid of and it lasts sometimes for days; it is of impending doom.
This is not my nature. By a stroke of good genetic fortuity having nothing at all to do with any effort on my part, Iíve been blessed with a reasonably even and good nature and disposition, and in fact wake up smiling. Iím told I often laugh in my sleep. My internal optimism gauge is always set on high, so much so that people, related or non, have requested, often loudly, that I knock it off. One even had the gall one sweet evening to announce sharply that, ďLife isnít The Sound of Music LC, so please stop making me puke with all your Goody Two Shoes nauseating joyous outlook on life crap!Ē He may have been right; a grandchild recently did say to me with a long, loud, patient sigh, ďOh Gramma, you are so full of joy.Ē
But itís leaving me, that joy and the Sound of Music. Bit by tiny bit itís floating away from me, eroding, grains of my own personal inner sand washing out to a bottomless ocean of nowhere, and I can do nothing to stop it.
This awfulness is happening to me because we have been told to expect another attack; this one will be the worst of all, weíre told. This one will be that color at the top of the coded chart weíre told, the one thatís never been used before. Itíll be massive, they say. Maybe itíll be fatal germs this time, instead of mere bombs.
Iím beginning to feel the icy fingers of terror clawing slowly up inside me as I did when we were instructed as kids to dive beneath our desks and cover our heads with our arms to save us from either disintegration or from being blown to microscopic bits of meat and bone by atomic, and later, nuclear bombs. All of us kids knew that desks and arms couldnít hold back anything more formidable than a small cherry bomb. Weíd all seen what those monsters of human destruction had done to the innocents of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We knew that potential war with Russia couldnít possibly be ďcold.Ē No war is ever cold. We knew quite simply that we would die.
But like a cork pushed down into the sea, Iíll bob back up and get OK again, if the world and I get the chance. And yet, now itís different. Now thereís this huddling instinct Iím unable to shake.
Why do they hate us, our future murderers? We all know why. How can we stop them from coming for us? Iím unsure we can. Do we have to sit and wait for our world to become gradually fogged with clouds of lethal germs as seen in that movie ďOn the BeachĒ? Or do we just sit quietly, simply, perhaps peacefully, and wait for the horrible bang to rip us all into forever? Will these endings be easy for us? Will they hurt? Will they be quick? Whichever comes, if we at least have our loved ones close, huddled, we shall have been together.