Saturday, September 15, 2001

We're back, tanned but exhausted and dazed, overdosed on the bad news. And I seem to have lost all sense of proportion and place. Everything feels too emphatic or too subtle, the colors a shade or two off.

I'm not altogether sure that trading the blue and white and dust-colored summery dry islands of the Aegean for the grey and green autumn-sodden islands of the Baltic will make it seem any less that people are going about their daily business a little too tidily, given the circumstances.

It was so strange, eating dinner rather mechanically in a taverna on the beach on Wednesday evening, surrounded by Europe enjoying itself - Germans and French and English and Greeks - and me feeling as if everyone else is ignoring the uneasy feeling they surely must have in their stomachs. Then feeling as if I'm just being melodramatic, feeding into all the hyperbole I've been hearing all day. Then making mental notes for a magazine review of the taverna. Then chastising myself for making the mental notes, then chastising myself all over again for being melodramatic. Stupid, that.

And now we're back, and I still don't know what to think, or even how to sort out all my strange emotions about these airplanes, these hijackers, this rubble, these dead people, these politicians, this teetering economy, these countries whose citizens have an intense distrust and hatred of the United States.

- by Francis S.

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