Thursday, June 21, 2007

Magical Thinking

The was a roads blocked off, traffic re-routed, busses stranded through four traffic light cycles in left-turn lanes without left-turn arrows bicycle race in downtown St. Paul yesterday. An adventure of sorts-new buildings and people to look at and watch, a change from the right on Layfayette, left on Wall, right on sixth, "Jackson!", "Cedar!", "Robert!", "Minnesota!", "Wabasha!" routine cry. On a two way street there are cars to look down into. A thin woman with short dark hair and glasses carefully rests a Tissot tin on her lap, opens it, puts one orange colored hard candy in her mouth. A woman appears to be talking to a child, (I see only a large white cloth in the passenger seat.) As the bus appears to advance, I see a large man, with a larger stomach, seatback fully back, and his large stomach beneath the large white t-shirt. He exhales a cloud of smoke, smoothly. Small shouts from the rear, "Hey! What's goin' on?" Three police not-cars but not Humvees, but some tactical vehicles pass in procession on our right. In the last I see a man in camo-fatigue looking clothes, helmet, vest and M-4 carbine slung over his shoulder. "Here because of the bike race", I think. Later, "Are they patrolling because of some threat, or suspicion of threat...?" Now I think, just practice, using a convenient crowd and disrupted traffic patterns.

I heard Micheal Chertoff on the radio yesterday. I only remember one quote, "Then, if there is a problem later, (Smoothing Plane, later than the magical 24 hours), we can always do something about it, " or pick them up, or whatever it was he said. I am certain about that "if".

I didn't trust anything he said. All of it was too shiny, too slippery. He used the word "operability", and not the Italian meaning of the word, talking about 80 millions of these kinds of checks, and overlaps with precision, and greater capabilities. The car he was pushing did have a very nice rear view mirror. All he had to say was no more than magical thinking.

It was exciting to see, as my put-on Irish accent says, "Men with guwns" in the street.

It wouldn't be as exciting to see them everyday, because we needed them there, everyday.

No comments: