Friday, January 12, 2007

like a bad drug

I ever have children...I would decorate their rooms with framed black and white photos from the New York Times collection.

There would be a shot of Seabiscuit laughing in 1940. Doughboy kissing his girl from the window of a submarine in 1923. Women riveters in 1943. Canyon de Chelley, 1904. Suffragists. Civil Rights. The Hindenberg. Maybe even one of Babe Ruth.

I'd want them to grow up realizing that life is made up of moments.

And then I'd pray every night they don't become addicted to that philosophy. Like their mother.

I am good in a crisis. People may disagree with that statement. People always think I stress out too much. Really, I'm riding on adrenaline. And I like it. When there's a crisis. I'll be there. Wake me in the middle of the night, I'll pull on some clothes and give you a ride home from the bar. Or the side of the road where your boyfriend left you. I'll fall asleep holding your hand while you watch television because you're too upset to sleep yourself. But at least you're not alone.

I crave crisis. I read in Anderson Cooper's book, "Dispatches from the Edge" about how he jumped from one story to another, always moving, always trying to get the next story. I'm sent to businesses that have been around forever. Nothing exceptional has really happened with them. They just want to see their name in print. It's not journalism to them. It's publicity.

I crave crisis so much - I don't know how to settle back in once it's over. I come home to an apartment with bills that are scarily overdue, dishes that are stuck together, light bulbs that are out. Stale air. And I don't look at it as my own crisis to clean up. I want to shut the door on it. Look away and find something else to do. Someone else to help.

And then I get the jitters. I worry things could happen at any given moment. Because it all happens in a moment. I double check, triple check up on people. I sit in one place...go from home to work to school to work to home and back again and fidget until something happens to occupy my attention.

I've never wanted to just write about the state of all things as they are. I've always wanted to write about the state of all things changing. As they're changing.

Call it anxiety. Call it impatience.

I ran over my finances time and time again on September 11th, 2001 - trying to figure out a way to afford running to NYC to breathe in the turmoil. I was jealous when students discussed taking Spring Break to clean up Katrina.

I crave that crisis. And it treats me like a bad drug. It's hard to recover once I'm done with it. Now I'm just trying to figure out how to build stable and manage the crisis I'm drawn to.

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