Friday, October 7, 2005

I've Called in Chicken

A friend of mine is having a party tomorrow night, at a bar in Manhattan.

I find myself afraid to go.

I lived in Jerusalem my freshman year of college. I was in town one night when there was a grenade attack on the Wailing Wall - walking distance from where I was standing. I saw the soldiers who would normally have been standing around eating ice cream on a Saturday night all running in one direction holding rifles in both hands, instead of cones. I calmly went back home, no thought running through my mind about not going to the Wailing Wall ever again.

What was different then? Was it just that I was younger? Was it just that those places were always dangerous?

My plan for tomorrow night was to take the train into Penn Station and take the subway downtown to join my friends. I've done it dozens of times (although of late any city visits I made I usually drove in). Still, this time, I'm afraid. I have a part of my brain screaming at me that going somewhere that I don't usually go that's had a bomb threat against it in the past 24 hours is a stupid, stupid idea. This loud voice says things like no matter how unlikely it is that anything will happen to me, if it does, it will be my own damn fault. The quieter part of my brain that's trying to reasonably suggest that it is very unlikely that anything will happen to me, and I shouldn't miss this because of an expired threat is being beaten down, very effectively.

I don't want to be afraid, but I am. To put it inelegantly, this totally sucks. I wrote an email to my friend saying that I was calling in chicken.

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