Tiny dents

September 11, 2002

what i heard first was a flat tire. the flip-flopping of rubber spinning clumsily against the pavement. is that my tire? i thought. is that the car next to me?

i looked to my right and saw a flag the size of college-ruled paper flapping in the wind.

it wasn’t a tire, it was the flag. i hadn’t noticed one of them on a car in such a long time. the red, the white, the blue, the stars, they all just blend in with the skies and palm trees. they stop meaning anything after a while.

this is what means more to me: i get daily emails from a 15-year-old girl who rolls her eyes at me when i say anything negative or mean and, in return, sends me uplifting quotes and beautiful pictures; i have friends with whom i can tell secrets and no matter how deep or dark they seem to me my friends isten and hide them safely away; i share emails with one big brother, instant messages with the other and phone calls with mom and dad throughout the week to remind us that no matter how far away we are from each other that we will always be here. i work with intelligent and talented people at a respectable company and go home to a charming and bright house filled with with plants i’ve cultivated and art i’ve collected. i can go anywhere i want, but this is where i’ve chosen to be. i have choices.

this is the america i know. this is the life i lead. for that, i continue to be grateful.

in return, i don’t raise flags or light candles or sing anthems. some will show their patriotism that way. some will make a difference by shouting and rallying. but me, i can only hope to make a few small dents in the lives of the people around me, the people i love.


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