September 28, 2001

When he fell, the earth opened under him like spoiling fruit, and he tumbled muffled through. Though he braced his arms and gripped soft piles the boy met no bottom, and the walls, gaining life, urged him irresistably down. He felt the teeth of the demons gripping his flesh, his bones, pulling. He felt the soft walls slither upwards. And he perceived as he came closer to the abode of the damned augmenting heat. In dread, he saw distant gates. When he entered, he was met with screams, as if the very walls screamed. Under him, the ground screamed, and he rolled blistered and pierced. The red dust and hot shards penetrated his wounds. It was then that a laquais approached. The devil sent him back up to earth, where the boy awoke scroched by the midday sun, the black rock cooking him from beneath. He could hardly open his eyes, but on he walked, and when he could walk no more, he saw approaching him a figure. The haze now kept the figure back, but as he spied, it proved to bear a loop of hide. The bearded figure held the heat in contempt, and revealed pointed teeth as it laughed. --Have you had enough, it jeered. It closed its mouth and fingered the cord hung at its side. Shadow cloaked its eyes. --My friend, it lied, I'm here to offer aid. The boy fell to his knees and prayed. --Dear Father, I will never abandon my faith in you. He gave thanks to the Lord for saving him from devil hands. The figure nodded grimly and replied: --It is right to give your Father thanks, but He doth act a mystery. Thou canst not know what will has He. --I know that His will is benign.

September 21, 2001

paint platin plain latin lartin -- Plaignez pas, le Latin plein, nous vous en prions, plainement, proposerent les Romains aux Grecques, en leur arrachant leurs poils sous ses chevaux, cheveux jettés dans ses seaux. -- Au contraire, nous ne parlerons que platin avec vos platitudes platoniques, bande des pilotes plats! Ce dit, ils ouvrirent le feu des f-vingt-deux. Parmi eux, il y avait un pilot merveilleux. Une femme, une dame, envoi des dieux. C'était la Reine du coin, des lieux. Elle arriva en hâte, du coup. Sur le champ, elle tua tout. -- Ourrah! crierent les Grecques, partout, et commencerent la Danse des Loups.

September 14, 2001

Pole orders broiled octopus

Talking with my grandma about all the languages in which my wife is fluent, we eventually moved on to the ones of which my other half has only rudimentary knowledge. German and Japanese are the principals of these latter, picked up from academic and intern experiences. As I searched for the proper Polish word to describe "rudimentary knowledge" of Japanese, my grandma jumped in with a comedic teacher's suggested "Yako tako.*" "Yak" meaning "like," and "tak" meaning "that," most French or English speakers will quickly recognise this turn of phrase, with its teeter-tottering rhyming suffices, as a close relation of "comme ci, comme ca," or "so-so." Like usual, I felt humbled in my ability to express delightful turns of phrase in Polish, but I had to accept my grandma's fluency. Over the long-distance discount call however, there remained a silent sense of smile playing upon my grandma's lips. In my pause, I betrayed a question. "Don't you think," she audibly beamed, "It sounds Japanese?" *pronunciations left in English phonetics, for readability

September 11, 2001

"It is undoubtedly the worst peacetime attack, ever, on a single nation." "These tragic actions contradict all human and religious values." "This incident in the United States is extremely cowardly and is beyond what any words can describe."


How they penetrated security is not relevant. The attack was creative enough, audacious. But how they co-ordinated their efforts on such a grand scale is unimaginable. The creativity, the discipline, the very passion so rigorously harnessed towards their mighty goal is superhuman. If what they had done had delighted us (as it probably has done their supporters), it would have been a magnificent work of art. But that all this discipline, planning, organisation was entirely directed at taking human life means that its power can come only from the Devil. Their work is so evil that it can only be done by the inhuman.
I don't want the end of today. I don't want any more news. I want it to stop.