The Next Osama Signing at the Placitas Library
Big thank you to the Placitas Library! It was a good gathering of Placitans thanks to Judy, Bob, Anne, and Cosmos (and I’m sure some others I don’t know about). Great job and great equipment.
After a brief talk and a power point on the effects of viral fear, particularly media-induced fear, we had a Q&A that lasted about 45 minutes. Some of the questions or comments were very political, others truly got the point of the book. One woman, who was very elegant and seemed to be very intent on the content, asked: “So it’s basically fear that keeps people from realizing how afraid they are!” I nearly jumped into the audience to hug her. That’s precisely the idea. It becomes a feedback loop. The characters, started on their paths by need and fear, can’t stop or even see themselves truly, because they are so afraid. That is the push into the abyss.
Another fellow wrote me an email about a memory he had and graciously gave me permission to publish it here. It describes precisely the sort of fear that keeps otherwise bright, good people from doing what needs to be done.
When I was a small lad of about 8, maybe 10 years of age, I went to a small amusement in late Spring or early Summer. The lines were a lot easier to navigate. My favorite was always the roller coaster type rides and this park had a very old wooden one I had never ridden. It was a good ride but like most, ended way too soon and while I was thinking about riding again, the little clump of cars stopped before the place where we boarded. It wasn’t much, maybe 20 feet or so short of where we entered the ride and I looked around and saw a sign that said to stay seated until the ride came to a complete stop. It did seem like the little train had stopped for a lot longer than I thought it should have and then noticed that it started to roll forwarded again slowly.
Problem was that a girl in the seat a couple ahead of me had pushed open the restraint bar and gotten out of the car. The landing had a small step you used to reach the walkway and as the cars rolled forward, I saw this girl’s foot on that step get caught between the riser of the step and the train moving forward and it twisted her foot completely around. There was a lot of yelling and stunned people just sitting there. I got up and went to the girl, braced my weight on one of my arms as I straddle her so she would not be able to see her foot. She was very scared. I was talking to her calmly and slowly. She asked if it was bad. . .had she broken her foot and I said yes and blocked her so she could not see just how bad it was. I looked up at the crowd and this really upset me. Everyone just stood around doing nothing. I remember thinking that they were all transfixed like they were watching an very interesting movie on the television. I yelled at a couple to keep the crowds back and give the girl some room to breathe then singled out three people and told them to call for help. It was like a light bulb went on and I was the adult among all these children.
Later in life I met that moment in our lives that we all know we might reach someday and hope we never have too. That moment when your heart is pounding so loud in your ears and the gear is almost a taste in the back of your throat then it hit me. This was that moment when people froze. The moment that made the difference in how you were to go forward or you could also choose to freeze. I remember how remarkable I thought it was that I could still move and concentrated on my breathing and tried to gain some control. I’ve gone to that place a few more times and each time it is always the same but you get to recognize it better and know what has to be done. I realize that it is no sin for those that chose not to move, to remain frozen, but that was something they had to live with and something they would need to deal with. I was thinking about this as you were talking today.
That pretty much sums it up.
We’ll be having another book signing at Bookworks in Albuquerque, NM on July 10th. Hopefully, by then, we’ll have two book trailers for people to watch.
And thanks everyone for coming!