The truth . . . in letters to acquaintances and friends

It’s finally happened.

I took my inbox of 2500 emails and reduced it to just 11. Lots of emails were notices about long-abandoned programming projects, mailing lists that might have been important one day, and other useless notifications I acted on a while ago. Others were the notes of acquaintances, wondering how I was – things I could have answered in a 10 minute email. Finally, there were the 50 or so emails from people who really matter to me — ones I should have dealt with ages ago. They’re all taken care of now, and what remains in those 11 notes are the final scraps I need to deal with, none older than December 28th, 2001.

In the due course of cleaning everything up, I typed this response to a neat person I met at my goodbye party in NYC, generously thrown for me by S. Names have been truncated to protect those who don’t know I’m posting this…

I’m sorry to hear about S. (as I did from many of her other friends.) Apparently because I didn’t email her after the terrorist attack, she was very upset, and I may have lost her as a friend. It’s unfortunate, because I enjoyed hanging out with her, and I don’t think anything I could have said could make her feel better. I took the terrorist attack hard too (I was watching live, by odd coincidence, on Japanese TV, when the second plane struck), especially since I used to work down in the same area and in the same building with Merrill Lynch, SSB, etc. But for some reason S. slipped my mind, and, while I didn’t intend any ill will, I didn’t contact her because by the time I remembered her predicament (via Y., actually, sending me an email with S’s recounting of what happened) since it seemed she was holding up well. By the time I actually thought to send her something, my feelings on the topic started to shift — and I didn’t think she’d be receptive to my viewpoint.

Yes, I was a New Yorker for long enough to feel a kin with the city, but frankly, the American reaction to the terrorist attack is entirely out of proportion with all sanity and due respect to human life. I wonder if any other New Yorkers feel the way I do, or if everyone is just so caught up in “an eye for an eye” that any action is justified. Frankly, it disgusts me, and it’s enough for me to *seriously* consider revoking my US citizenship and becoming French, Canadian, or hell even Japanese (though the last is unlikely.)