My life as a Journalist and Living with Terror

 

It's the phone call that every parent dreads in this "Best of all possible worlds", that we now live in. 

 

"Some kids are running around in school saying someone is shooting. Can you please come and get me?"
 
"WHAT?"
 
Racing to the school, police, emergency vehicles, fire trucks, MORE police, guys with helmets and automatic weapons stopping you from crossing the West Side Highway to I.S. 289 -- and not knowing. 
 
Is your child okay?
This was the scene of the latest terrorist act. 
 
We'd lived through 9-11, 10 blocks away from the World Trade Center. Watching, as people flew out the window, 90 stories up, to escape. Then the fires that burned for 4 months as Christine Whitman told us that the air was safe to breathe.
 
But, the fear didn't really take hold for the parents until, as we all waited to be allowed in to I.S. 289, to pick up our children -- until we were told to "run, run, run immediately," by a 60-something high-ranking police officer --  as the police searched for "devices."
He was the real deal and he genuinely was concerned for us.  
Bombs were suspected. So, hundreds of parents ran, crying AWAY from where their children were. Now fearing for their own lives and the lives of the children that they now had to leave behind -- to face what? The school being blown up?
 
What is there to be learned from this?
 
Nothing.
 
Be watchful as you walk on the sidewalks and cross the street? Look furtively at people around you? Continue to smoke and drink with abandon? Start a salon and invite Papa Hemingway and Gertrude to come and write?
 
Maybe read more Camus or Sartre?
Despite it all, though, the teachers and administration of I.S. 289 were very professional and considerate in the midst of near-panic.
 
There is no answer. Not even moving to Milwaukee. The Frenchman, who was there to pick up his son and was the closest one there to my age --  who thought I looked like Charles DeGaulle -- as we were locked down in the school Gym until we got the all clear, shared that, "A lot of the French like Trump."
 
Just another day as a journalist?
Maybe this was really all about targeting my writing. After all, murdering, indicting, incarcerating journalists is popular. Even in America.
 
My son said, "Yeah, you think everything's all about you, don't you?"
 
 
Filed under: