Monday, April 26, 2010


I survey my apartment. Yeehaw! It is tidier than a 5-star hotel! With cleanly pleasure pulsing through me I decide to treat myself to ice cream. Since I am a big fan of a bargain (and really, I think most desis are), I decide to visit my local McDonald’s for a 99 cent cone. But I quick call my parents to say hello first.

I get my ice cream, eat it on the way home and sit down on the couch. Literally, my booty makes contact with the cushions and the phone rings. It’s my parents and I am instantly nervous: 1) I just talked to them and 2) they never call me. And growing up, when the phone rang late at night, my parents never had to tell us, my brother and I knew, an elder, distant relative had died.

“Hello?” I demand. “Don’t panic,” is the first thing my always calm and collected mother says. Then perhaps she should not begin a conversation with, “don’t panic.” Because I immediately, P-A-N-I-C. “Don’t worry, Daddy is home and I talked to your brother, they are home, too.” “What is going on!” I demand. “The 35W Bridge just fell into the Mississippi River.”

For the love of Ganesh, this is the most surreal thing I have ever heard my mother day. And the words reverberate in my head. “Don’t panic. Don’t panic. Don’t panic.” It’s just the bridge that connects our house to our office that we drive across twice day, every day just FELL into the RIVER. In what world do perfectly good bridges just fall down?

My mother is still talking and I flip on CNN. There are bits and bubs of the bridge all over the place. OMG. I mean my mother would never make this up. But, holy shit, the 35W Bridge is in the water. “Mom, I have to go,” I say and immediately call Jack. “Hello?” he says. “The 35W Bridge fell into the Mississippi,” I say robotically. “What?” Jack shouts. “Turn on CNN!” I order and he does because it is so sensational. “Holy shit. The bridge is in the water…” he says. “I can’t talk right now,” I say and begin to hang-up. “What happened? You were just there!” he demands. “Well it’s not snowing, so it’s road construction season and they were repairing the bridge.” Now there are cars and concrete in the water?

For the next five hours I sit in front of the telly watching CNN. I have not been this disturbed since 9/11 when one of my co-workers came into the office and said, “I think a plane just hit the World Trade Towers.” Holy shit. Holy shit. Holy shit.

No comments: