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Is life nothing but "the show"?

by Kathy Hadizadeh Thursday, Sep. 05, 2002 at 2:26 PM

It is about the feelings I experienced in my recent visit to Ground Zero site at NY.

I traveled to NY two weeks ago. And as you can guess, one of the places in my short list for visit was the famous ground zero site. I knew that I will be really sad after the visit so I put it down as the last item, right before catching my flight at JFK. On the way in metro, I was trying to imagine what I am going to face. The only fact I knew was that three metro stations have gone gray in the metro map. Meaning that like an inactive item on your computer, you cannot access it any more however hard you click the mouse button. There is no more push of the people inside the metros at this station, no more life …no more tender disturbance of human noise ... Before I could let my mind fly much, I had to get out.

I came up the stairs slowly. The brightness of daylight struck me the same time that all those hand writings on that piece of canvass hanging on fences did. Writings by all those people who had visited, who had helped or who were searching for their beloved ones at that time. My vision became blared; I could feel the heat in my cheeks and the sourness of my tears running to my mouth. There were dried flowers, rugby gloves, big photos with notes encrypted in hope under them, any piece symbolizing the beloved one. The one, who left one gray morning without saying the last words and never returned. Here and there I could see notes from different people for this occasion: An Italian poem, A painting from a German painter, etc. The poet had tried his best to find a traveler coming to NY to carry the message of his heart pain at the agony of this disaster. One piece touched me badly; a picture that I had drawn many times in my mind and could be true for any body:

“How many of them, when they left the house that day, had a quarrel with their wife, girlfriend, sweetheart, boy friend, parents children or even the best friend?”

I am touched. Isn’t that so true? We leave in the morning at times with a heart not as light as a feather. With a mind that obscures the good characters of the other one for any reason and makes us not be the gentle, loving creatures as we always are. It is true for both parties. It stabs me at the heart, with a world as uncertain as this, with the proof so vivid in front of me, is it ever worth it even a second?

I pass by and deep in my thoughts, I hear:

“Buy from the Veteran. The complete storey of the tragedy for only $ 5. Only here! Originally $ 15! . If you buy from the Vet, you have gone the right way!”

I look and see over a table filled with albums of the photos of Sep.11 tragedy and small statues of the twin towers, a black amputee is moving the remainder of his leg in a dirty, “disgusting “way and repeats these words with a big laugh. What am I filled with? Is this hatred? Is this disgust? Am I just shocked?

It is too perplex to analyze. He is not alone; there is one on the other side, one at the other corner. It is beyond my tolerance. I go to the other side of the street. Among the crowd passing by the actual site and piercing through the small holes in curtains to see all the vast land remained, as flat as the palm of my hand. I see a sign: Ground Zero, Best View. For a moment, I am reminded of the scenic spots on the roads where people park to see the view and take pictures. But I say to myself: “Do not be ridiculous! No, it means where you can see the depth of the damage”. I go on with the crowd, under the golden sun, with all the tourists. I see the police and that big Cross, a big simple cross standing alone above all this vast land of nothing but soil. The land surrounded by all these tall buildings looking over it. The land that once had the tallest of all monuments to overlook not only those surrounding buildings but also all Manhattan is now looked down on. This big steel cross is kind of the last sign of humans ever touching this land. I go to the best view, where people pose in front of the cameras with big smiles to get their picture taken with the good earth of twin towers, like the site of Metropolitan Museum or a famous statue or a I do not know any other sight seeing that is worth capturing the moments. The picture that they can show to their friends on their return and say: “Hey, I saw ground zero, see it is me here!”

I do not know why I have the pictures of all those signatures, dried flowers and pictures left with hope in front of me. A picture so vivid of people who lost their lives here that I couldn’t figure out how any one can even think of a smile here let alone posing in front of camera.

Got back to the metro site. Bewildered by all this commercialism. At the site of the event that affected direction, philosophy, meaning and the actuality of lives of so many people all around the world not just Americans. Threw myself in the taxi to escape with my sad eyes, grown bigger at the fear of speed of life. How life and this world are so disloyal even to my memorial. The cool weather inside refreshes me. In a moment, it strikes me:

“Empty spaces - what are we living for

Abandoned places - I guess we know the score

On and on, does anybody know what we are looking for...

Another hero, another mindless crime

Behind the curtain, in the pantomime

Hold the line, does anybody want to take it anymore

The show must go on,

The show must go on…

Inside my heart is breaking

My make-up may be flaking

But my smile still stays on.

Whatever happens, I'll leave it all to chance

Another heartache, another failed romance

On and on, does anybody know what we are living for?

I guess I'm learning, I must be warmer now

I'll soon be turning, round the corner now

Outside the dawn is breaking

But inside in the dark I'm aching to be free

The show must go on

The show must go on…..*

What could this life be other than “the show”?

Kathy Hadizadeh

Los Angeles

16th Aug., 2002

*” Show must go on” is a song written by Queen, sung by Freddie Mercurie and released in 14th Oct. 1991.

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