Airplanes and Shared Negative Nostalgia

I actually Googled whether there was a corresponding negative word for “nostalgia” and it turns out I am not the first person online to ask.  There isn’t one.  “Flashback”  “Dragging up memories”.  Meh.  There are too many nuances.

I saw my chiropractor last week.  Yeah, yeah.  Not essential.  I am not in terrible pain but it’s not like I’m getting any less screen time right now.  He has a ton of protocol going on to keep everyone healthy, including only having one patient and one staffer in the building at a time.  So after he adjusted my back, he did my ultrasound treatment and we got to talking.  He asked if I’d noticed the air traffic.  Meaning the lack thereof.

Why, yes.  I had.  “Does it remind you of 9/11?”  Why yes.  It does.  A thought I’d had several times before and not uttered out loud because comparing anything to 9/11 seems so very wrong.

You’d have to be a certain age and lived or worked in a certain place for this to be a thing.  But since 9/11, planes in the sky = The World is Working.  In my brain, anyway.

It is such a subtle thing because first you have to notice the quiet.  Between pets and trains and landscapers and the county tornado siren drills at 10am on the first Tuesday of each month, one does not always catch the quiet.  After you catch the quiet, it takes a minute to recognize the quiet is wrong.  And another minute to make the connection.  The World is Not Working.  Then a wave of something that I can only call despair.

It only lasted a minute.

Anyway.  It was a relief to have someone else say it out loud.

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