September 9, 2002
Radio Silence

miles to go: 729.1

The Main Nerdy Geoscience Guy stops by my desk to drop off an armload of filing, first thing this morning.

"What?" he says in surprise. "No tunes today?" And he glances pointedly at my radio, sitting unplugged and silent next to the computer. 

Ordinarily on a bright and shiny Monday morning I would be listening to KFOG-FM -- The Bay Area's "All-'Melt-With-You'/All-The-Time! Radio Station -- but today I am working in uncharacteristic silence.

"Headache," I reply with a shrug.

This is not a complete untruth. I've been working on a low grade temple-pounder for a couple of days now ... a rebound headache, no doubt, from all the ibuprofen I took after our ride on Saturday. There's no point in telling The Main Nerdy Geoscience Guy the rest of the story: that the real reason I'm not listening to the radio this morning is because I've privately declared this a Media-Free Week, starting today.

No TV. No newspapers. No magazines. No glancing at tabloid headlines in the supermarket checkout line.

And no radio at work.

I'm even going to try and avoid the Internet as much as possible for the next couple of days ... just until we are safely past The Anniversary. In fact, when I get home from work this evening I'm going to post a short blurb on my website -- all about how I just can't seem to bring myself to add my inadequate, inarticulate, wholly unnecessary voice to the vast chorus of remembrance -- and then I'm going to maintain the cyber equivalent of *radio silence* for the rest of the week.

But there's no point in burdening The Main Nerdy Geoscience Guy with all of this. Instead, I simply plead headache.

"Well," says The MNGG, "I hope you feel better soon."

Yes. Thanks. I hope so, too. I think that maybe by hunkering down and staying quiet for a while -- by concentrating on work and family, by keeping my private remembrance rituals private, by limiting the amount of media imagery and commentary I allow to filter past the mental censors -- I might just get through these next couple of days in one piece. 

Or at the very least, I won't find myself searching for mushroom clouds and errant jets again, every damn time I look out the window.

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