I could tell from the minute I woke up/It was gonna be a lonely lonely day/rise and shine/rub the sleep out of my eyes/try to tell myself i can't go back to bed

Ah, Phantom Planet, I never knew you until last week. Now you're the soundtrack to my melancholy.

Wow that last sentence sounded angsty. I don't know if I meant it or not. I certainly feel like people I love don't share my emotion, but this has been an ongoing problem for many months. Sure one of my best friends has been ignoring me all night, but he's got work to do. And yes, the homework is lying on the couch beside me with accusing bedroom eyes-- "Why are you cheating on me with the laptop? Where's the love?"-- but for the first time in my life I feel a sense of truly impending doom, along with a strangely muffled sense of excitement, a weird day-long adrenaline rush. What the fuck?

Going to school in Washington, D.C. is weird. In many ways, this is the closest to a European city that America will ever get-- you can feel the history, almost feel the dead beneath your feet (literally feel them beneath your feet beneath some Catholic cathedral here, or so the story goes), crying out to be heard in this monument, that monument... I don't just mean the huge Jungian wet dream on the west end of the Mall, I mean the statues of men on horses and soldiers leaning into the wind and long dark walls full of names. Did you know that if the statue has a horse with one of its front hooves raised, the soldier seated upon it died in the war? Thus Grant's horse has his feet firmly planted, standing guard with some lions near the Capitol. But enough of that-- why dwell on the long-dead, when we can ponder the soon-to-be dead? I came back from Spring Break monday night, flying in from my home, Colorado, just beating an insane storm that's shut down the state. Goddamn, I wish I hadn't left. I love tornadoes, blizzards, hail storms, floods, earthquakes, wildfires... let Earth herself be our enemy. Let us unite to subdue her rages. Instead, here I am seemingly in the middle of it all, and things are going really fucking crazy.

I feel dreamily surreal when I see the signs on the Metro titled, "Don't fear terrorism, fight terrorists!" listing all the things to do if something suspicious is happening. When I'm trying to take a nap between classes, the window open and the humid breeze floating in, and helicopters flying low overhead keep waking me up, I sense the collective nightmare around me. I can't remember who said it, but someone on here said in a node that "September 11 fucked us up." True enough. I just didn't realize how badly until Monday night, when the fire alarm went off and we had to evacuate the dorm. Someone lit the bulletin board on fire on 2 North, or something like that, and I had just asked my roommate how her spring break went. We picked up our keys and headed out into the humid night. We stuck together, and when it was eight and we were still outside, we went to another building to watch the speech on a big screen TV. Soon, the room was full of people, all holding their breath, mostly standing up or straining to see. The speech began, and the sound was too low, so someone ran and got a speaker, but until he returned we all sat in perfect silence, straining to hear. No one spoke until the speech was over, and the screen returned to Dan Rather. The surrealism remained; I had the feeling that this was some sort of paradigm shift, like we'd just entered totally new territory, a new dimension... then I remembered earlier, in the airport, seeing everyone clustered around the TVs playing news, wondering what had happened. For half a second I thought there had been another hijacking, but then I saw that it was a briefing from the United Nations, and I passed it by. The world was turning too fast, and I couldn't handle another sound bite.

Tonight, down on the Mall, a man named Dwight W. Watson is sitting in his tractor in a fountain. He's been blocking traffic for two days. He's a farmer, as were his father and grandfather and great-grandfather, and he's just gone bankrupt. He claims to have bombs, but not many believe him. The general feeling seems to be that we should shoot him, because he's holding up traffic, slowing the frantically rushing pace of this city, but I can't feel anything but sympathy. His simple pastoralism can't compete in the modern world, so he takes steps that many consider crazy, when really he's responding in kind. I haven't been down to gawk at him, like many here, but I can picture him in my mind: a tiny drowning creature halting the rushing waters of progress for only a second before being swept under forever.

The world will not end with this war, or any other, but even Rome fell. I cannot help but think I am a witness to the fall of America in these days where insanity is normal. The world will not end. The world will not end. The world will not end...