How Soon We Forget

I went out for drinks with some new co-workers last night. All in all it was a good day, as I had lunch on the company and a few Newcastles on the corporate card. The main TVs in this dive bar kept showing Fox News (dude), and there was information on 9/11 that kept appearing on the crawl. I casually mentioned it in conversation and the subject was quickly changed. No one wanted to talk about it.

On 9/11, I was in a hospital room at Emory University in Atlanta, a little more than a week out of a three-week coma due to a staph infection. I was scheduled to get a PICC line inserted that day, so early in the afternoon I got in the wheelchair and a very talkative man took me to radiology. My parents had already dealt with putting their lives on hold to watch me sleep for three weeks in critical condition. I had suffered quite a few hallucinations due to the medication given me to get out of the coma. Watching planes fly into buildings to me computed as somewhat more plausible than the average American. Still, as this man pushed me along the halls, talking about planes still flying over the Atlantic that may or may not need to be shot down, the mood was a bit somber.

The radiology room itself was very cold. To cope, the staff put many warm blankets over my body, keeping my left arm exposed where they were to insert the line. The radio was on and nobody knew anything. Schools were cancelled and all air traffic had been halted hours ago. The staff told me that the line would hurt, much like inserting an IV. It did but I didn’t peep and the folks there seemed to be impressed. The line went all the way to my heart and allowed me to continue taking the antibiotics that were killing the staph infection, and my red blood cells. I had to get a new line in a couple of weeks when the first one got clogged. I also got a new antibiotic and eventually left the hospital for good.

There was a moment, sitting in my room watching large buildings crash into the earth, that I realized how many people were dying at that moment. I was as emotionally receptive as I’ve ever been. It hurt so much that I told my parents to turn off the TV.

I think it’s important to revisit our memories of that day. It’s the only collective memory our generation is likely to have. I like remembering when the sound of music on a commercial brought me to tears. There was a time when I was so fragile, yet so strong.

We bring you back to reality with a discussion about fantasy baseball.

To prove how desperate and unthorough I am, I used one of my precious roster moves this morning to pick up Ty Wigginton, who’s actually injured. Brandon Phillips, one of my best players, broke his finger this week and is finished. I needed a 2B after dropping Dan Uggla earlier this week. My offense is weak because my opponent is projected to get 80 innings pitched this week and I’m trying to catch up. I don’t think it’s going to happen. I have four starters tonight but he still has seven starts left over the weekend. The 29-inning gap is too much but I might be able to make the two-win gap. When you’ve been in first or second place all year and are losing 11-2 with four days left, you’re going to do everything in your power to extend the season.

One Response to How Soon We Forget

  1. Steve September 12, 2008 at 6:09 pm #

    Zach, you are an excellent writer. I (heart) you. Steve

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