Sunday, November 13, 2005



I walked to the Mall today for a little quiet time. After seeing an exhibit at the Hirshhorn, I went outside and saw a bunch of scattered debris, surrounded by police tape. The things on the ground were black and mechanical and rather large, and clearly from some sort of aircraft. There was also a news truck around - I didn't know the channel, but I figured it was some obscure crappy local cable news thing.

I could see signs posted on a barrier, so I walked over to check things out, expecting to see an explanation about this new exhibit, or perhaps read some exhortations made by some crazy demonstrators.

Instead, there were signs memorializing the space shuttle "Patriot" and its crew. They were touching handmade posters, saying that people will never forget the day. There were also batches of flowers at the foot of the barriers.

I looked around, befuddled. What the hell? Did something happen? Further alarming me, when I turned around, I saw that a fairly bad car wreck had occurred earlier - a small Nissan thing had plowed into another car, totalling the Nissan. The people were gone, but the cars had yet to be towed.

I was wracking my brain for some Patriot disaster, but I couldn't think of any. I wondered if, possibly, some horrible thing had happened on the Mall yesterday and I hadn't heard about it. Which was frighteningly entirely possible - I don't think I read the paper yesterday, watched the news, or listened to the radio.

A man was hanging up posters, and while I didn't want to appear to be totally uninformed (or you know, reveal that I was totally uninformed) I asked him what was going on, prefacing it with "Apparently I've been living under a rock...?"

Perhaps sensing my anxiety, he helpfully explained that they would be filming a movie there later today, and that all that stuff was part of the set. Including the cars over there? I asked. Including the car, he said. And he added that Nicole Kidman was starring in the movie.

I had received all the info I needed, so I went over and sat down by a tree to read. It was just a movie.

But some odd reason, the feeling of simmering panic, of unease, has stuck with me. Was it because I didn't know what was going on? Or was it because it's not that absurd to think that something had gone on, and I didn't know about it?

It's just a movie. But the set was just real enough to give me pause.

Did you buy anythng fun at the mall?

I'm the same, I always want to know everything..I often wonder if it's due to some deep rooted paranoia or just simple curiosity- either way I'm screwed!
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