Friday, November 28, 2003

Snap back to reality

I was boppin' around downtown the other day and saw something that gave me one of those 'perspective moments'. There was a father-daughter duo walking amongst other family members along one of DC's comfortably-wide walking streets. As they were coming towards me, I glanced at the little girl and quickly realized that she was reaching up, with her right hand, at an extremely high angle - as if someone had just yelled STICK 'EM UP! - but only one of her hands got the message. So, my brain, doing a 'Do what now?', told me to look a little harder, and what I noticed next was that the father was an amputee, and he had an Ace bandage-type wrap around the stub of his left arm at what seemed to be just below his left elbow. The little girl was window-shopping, as was daddy, but her right hand was grasping and grasping for something to hold onto - her little fingers just couldn't find anything to latch onto, and just kept slipping off the Ace-bandaged end of dad's arm. The end of dad's arm seemed to be perfectly rounded, and tightly wrapped so that seemingly nothing could grab it - accidentally or otherwise.

Now, I don't know if this guy was an Iraq war vet, but I felt certain that he was - for several reasons. DC is home to Walter Reed Medical Center, where most/all of our returning vets go for artificial limbs and rehab. It seems if he was not an Iraq vet, that is, a recent amputee, he probably would have had an artificial limb installed by now. Something about the guy just said 'military' too, though, I really don't remember if he had a buzz cut, military mementos, etc. And regardless of whether this father was one of the many amputees of the War on Iraq - be it Ali or one of our own - it's a bit of a wake-up call.

It's just too immense for me to try and comprehend all at once. You have the incredible innocence of the little girl, the incredible bravery of the father, and the ├╝ber-vileness of this Administration that is lurking far off in the background. And I think the Dark Side is a good analogy because the power of the Dark Side can corrput basically-good people, just as this Administration has.

p.s. On a lighter note, a little plug for an indie flick I just saw at Visions. To Be and To Have - some French-fried flick with subtitles - I knew I'd like it based on those grounds alone, but it was good - muy good. These days I dig on anything that reminds me of innocence in the world - the schoolchildren in this flick do just that, in spades.

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