and I went along as the wife. (I love doing that. Fading into the background. Hardly opening my mouth except to say hello and support him). Well anyway, we landed in Oahu on the day of the nuclear alert. Our plane touched down a few hours after everyone found out it had been a mistake, but not before many people — sales people, waiters, gas station attendants, cashiers, mothers, fathers, kids — thought they would only be alive for a half hour after they got the first alert. As we walked off the plane, my phone was lighting up with texts from friends who had been here and were brought to their knees by the thought that everything changed in a second: Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.
Being, um, somewhat death obsessed, I started asking everyone we met — the person at the pharmacy at Target, the waiter at dinner, the front-desk person at our hotel — how they were, where they were, what they felt.
Their answers were of course stunning (and I am writing a longer story about this and will let you know when I’m finished with it and where to read it), but in the meantime, and as always, when something like this happens, it’s always a chance to take a long breath, and ask what we would do if we had half an hour to live … what would be unfinished, what we wished we would have said, if we have any regrets and in what area.
None of the people to whom I spoke woke up that morning thinking they were going to be hit by a nuclear missile. And while there is much to say about the political climate and how this exacerbates the already simmering fear, that is not what this post is about. It’s about our interior lives. It’s about how we live day to day, where our priorities are. And you. What about you, all of you lovelies?