Tuesday, September 01, 2009

their anniversary

One sun drenched afternoon in Boulder while I was hiking the trail behind my place I met up with an awkward academic on the summit ridge. I had planted myself on a rock and he came over the hill, nowhere near the trail, dressed in clothes not entirely designed for hiking with a big wooly sheepdog in tow. He was visiting from Korea, staying with friends. The sheepdog belonged to his hosts.

He really wanted to talk, and I was polite but a bit icy, because I didn't.

He kept talking.

For nearly an hour we talked on that ridge and I learned about his engineering work before I learned, most importantly, about his loss.

His story spilled over like a faucet left open, the kettle overfull.

Some few years before he and his wife had been visiting New York when, on the return, she was bumped from the flight. He had something to attend to so he went ahead rather than staying behind with her. Her flight the next day, the one she boarded with their first child in her belly, was KAL Flight 007, which was shot down shortly after that by Soviet aircraft when it errantly violated Soviet airspace.

She never returned home.

His every gesture was saturated with anguish and regret.

Today is the anniversary of that flight.

I hope he has company. I hope he has someone to talk to.


I, Rodius said...

Ah, God. Horrible. What a living nightmare. I sometimes have morbid anti-fantasies about "this will be the last time I see her" or "I will die in a car wreck because I left him with SWSIL for some selfish alone time." That's not abnormal, is it?

Lolabola* said...

truly awful. I think those same thoughts Rodius, and then I read about things like this and wonder how on earth people cope

suttonhoo said...

"Nothing is built on stone; all is built on sand, but we must build as if the sand were stone."

Borges said that. I put it on my Flickr profile years ago now, but it still most nearly sums up what I believe to be true about being alive.

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