Waiting for the other shoe to drop. It’s an expression that goes along with the idea that one man’s ceiling is another man’s floor. If you live in an apartment under the bedroom of another person you hear one shoe hit the floor (your ceiling) then wait for the other shoe to drop. Sometimes it never does and you wonder, what happened?
In my mind we are waiting for two shoes to drop-one serious and one not so very much.
The not so serious shoe? Here in NEPA that briefest of all seasons, summertime, fell over and was pronounced dead the other day. No one told summer this because we are still getting some nice temps and fair skies and that is where the shoe comes in. The picnic table that hosted party time with cool beverages and dives into the nearby pool will soon be covered with snow and ice. It’s somewhat difficult to fathom that if you sit in the same spot where you sweated before in t-shirt and shorts in a few short weeks you could literally freeze to death in minutes. It begs the question why we live here in a place that allows flip flops to be worn for less than one quarter of the year, speaking of shoes.
And the other shoe? It’s the collective awareness shoe. The certain knowledge that what happened nine years ago this Saturday can and will occur again, or – and this is worse – the thought that when it happens it will be a bigger and more devastating event.
No amount of mission accomplished, troop reductions or declarations of not war can make this change. Once those planes augured into the Pentagon, that field near Shanksville in rural Pennsylvania and the Twin Towers, our lives in this country changed forever in the literal blink of an eye. Changed in that we no longer can ever feel like it can’t happen here. We know it can and the nine years is just the time spent waiting on another shoe to drop.
The forces that put the 9/11 attack together wait with cold patience and plan our destruction from afar. They hate us for all we stand for with a relentless and unreasonable anger. That we breathe and enjoy another day fills them with rage. That we live in the shadow of the fear that they bring pleases them beyond our comprehension.
Nine years is a long time. The wounds have healed, the feelings we felt that day are not as sharp and our concentration has focused elsewhere. It’s human nature. But maybe this Saturday, for a moment, we should look over our shoulder. They want us to suffer still. It’s a lesson we should never forget.