April 24, 2010

Over the Horizon

Must resist the temptation to write about specifics because there are all sorts of lawsuits pending and drooling journalists and grieving families.  Wouldn't want to do anything to compromise things that need to unfold in a certain, controlled way.

But Miner's just breaking up out there.  He had to box up his buddy's personal effects this morning so they could be returned to the family.  I can't imagine cleaning out a friend's locker that way.

And a little at a time, details coming out, personal stories here and there.  Stories of people so panicked, they ran even into places where there was no where to run.  Like people running out into the open air seventy floors high in the sky on 9-11.  Desperation eclipsing reason...Just run...run...run...run until the ground runs out.

Stories, glimpses into people's heart-of-hearts, and what lies there -- heroism or cowardice.  Some kept their minds and fought the primal sense to flee until everyone was out of harm's way.  Others fought to break away no matter who was clawing for safety...Every man for himself.

Some of them won't ever go back again.  They'll fade quietly into new careers.  Probably won't fly or fish anymore.  They might move away from this place altogether and try to build new lives and forget.

Miner's not going anywhere.  He'll grind forward with routine as he has year after year, checking off the risks just like he checks off the days on the calendar, just part of the job.  He'll take his smoke break outside and peer across the blue miles there.  There used to be a speck there on the horizon. There was activity and communication and purpose.  Now, the sky meets the waves at those exact coordinates, and there is nothing but a sad, silent surface.

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