Enough about me... let's talk more about me

7.17.2002  Bus Fallout

These events have been toppling around in my head recently and I just can’t seem to kick them. It’s sort of saddening, so I have to warn you. I wish I can write about something lighter, possibly the next time.

The topic is the fearful remains of terrorism.

Reports have stated that approximately forty percent of New Yorkers suffer from posttraumatic syndrome. I think that may be possible. I get these freaky dreams once in a while. The last one was about a war breaking out. I looked out the window and witnessed planes of all sorts filling the skies. We hid in our apartment with the shades drawn and too afraid to turn on the lights.

Well, in my conscience land, I had recently started a new assignment, and I thought that the last place where I worked was disheartening when during my commute, the bus ran up Church Street, Ground Zero. Everyday, I was reminded of the events—first thing in the morning.

My new assignment is actually located in a different location. Now instead of going past Ground Zero, I actually get off at that stop. Hopefully though, maybe I’ll get to witness the rebuilding of the area. Some closure would be nice.

I have to admit at times that I grow fearful of terrorist attacks reoccurring. For example, I ride a commuter bus to work everyday and I hear a lot about the suicide bombers in Israel boarding commuter buses. Anyhow, the bus that I take travels through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and I can only imagine the devastation if something were to happen there.

One night, the bus was packed full. All the seats were taken and there was hardly any standing room left. We approached the entrance to the tunnel and came to a stop. Traffic was pretty slow, but it was noticeable that we weren’t moving and other vehicles were going around us. Next, the people who were standing in the aisle were told to exit the bus. We all looked at each other bewildered.

Two police officers entered the bus, and made an announcement, “The driver of the bus has notified us that there is someone on this bus that he has identified as being suspicious. Please bear with us.”

This wasn’t a common occurrence and it took a while for the reality of the situation to sink in. I watched as the officers marched up the aisle followed by the bus driver and approached a man sitting diagonally in the back.

“Him, over there” the driver pointed.

The passenger was just asked a few questions. He was not physically searched. The driver gave a nod and the police retreated. That was it. There was no searching through his bags. There was no attempted detection of explosives on the passenger’s body. Nothing. That was it. All this bother just for a couple of questions? Could it hurt just to be a little more thorough?

The crew just walked back up to the front. An announcement was then made that all was alright. There was still an air of uneasiness though. More passengers then voluntarily left the bus and opted to ride on the next one. The one’s alike myself, who remained, felt a risk of the higher probability of something happening to that bus while going through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel.

I understand the fear is real. I really do not like it.

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...One thing is that no matter how old I am, I probably will not like being called sir or mister, for they have always seemed too far out of reach...




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