I am still sick. Sicker and sicker, in fact... I have come down with the obligatory sinus infection that always follows any remotely sinus-related malady of mine, like a hurricane after a shower.

I spoke with Joel today... he was on the north end of the island, packing some things from his apartment before exiting the city again. He didn't sound strained and alien, like he did last night, but... very grim. He said that the wind was blowing northwards, and carrying the smell from the south end of the island up to where he was.

My mother has already sent me a few Nostradamus quatrains to debunk for the benefit of her friends.

I fear that S is having a rough time of it right now... his parents, as far as I know, are still living in Saudi. I have to restrain myself from telling him, "Tell them to get the hell out of there!! America is going to fall on that region like a tree trunk, they have got to go NOW!" What right do I have to tell him that his parents should leave their home?

I wore black today. A quiet voice in my mind warned me that it might be a little offensive, considering I hadn't lost any family members or close friends. No color suited, though. I kept thinking about the videos and pictures of the New Yorkers, and a single thought echoed over and over again my mind, Those are OUR New Yorkers. I recognized each of them without ever having seen them before. I could not wear color, my countrymen have been massacred.

I do not believe in vengeance, but I'll go ahead and admit right now that it's only because I don't find it tempting. I do believe in prevention, and the fact is, if your foe is willing to die to kill you, the only possible way to stop them from doing so is to kill them first. If someone else can think of a better idea, I'm all ears... because the idea of our entire country hunting down and martyring a small group of zealots (let's face it, you can't kill zealots, you can only martyr them) doesn't appeal to me, even if they are guilty.

I feel that the country is sick, like I am. All of our medics and emergency personnel are rushing to the wounds, like white blood cells en masse. The brain is dizzy and confused. The body of the country is not eating, sleeping, working... it is functioning at a minimal level, while it works to heal the horrible damage. I am not ashamed to say this, and I don't think that it means the terrorists have won.

I do think that it means we need to be patient with ourselves, and wait until the brain of the body is fully functional again before making big decisions that could make us sicker...

But, then, I'm feverish and confused myself.

And frightened.