A day or three after 9/11 I turned on my radio. WFUV my local alt-rock station was having songs of healing and it was wonderful. I’d put on CNN, mute it, take off my glasses and only watch TV when the DJ said something of note was happening.
I hadn’t slept since 9/11 as I would stay up and think of every possible scenario. One was that Bush was in bed with the Bin Laden because of oil interests. This led me to somehow think that my religion was going to be banned. I admit that I wasn’t thinking very clearly, but there were all sorts of rumors floating around that Jews had been given advance notice etc.
Claudia Marshall the morning DJ seemed to be playing an excessive amount of songs with the word Jesus in them. I realize that some of the most beautiful music has the word Jesus in it, but I had a migraine and rather than turn off the radio because I just couldn’t I needed it, I e-mailed the radio station.
I had gone to Fordham for grad school in large part because of its radio station, and it was abandoning me. (Hey I know people, who picked grad schools for worse reasons, and it was highly ranked and I wasn’t living in Manhattan, when I was in grad school, and it got me into the city one day a week.)
This is where my New York chauvinism comes in. Unless you were here that week you can’t imagine how much we were suffering. Nobody knew what was happening; nobody could sleep; kids were inconsolable and for once in their lives parents couldn’t help them. It was war, and we were living in the middle of the battle.
After Claudia received my e-mail, she told the audience in her girlish-doesn’t-everybody-love-me-because-I’m-DJ-voice that a viewer had called and asked me not to play songs with the word Jesus, in them. Then she laughed and said that of course, she was going to continue playing them.
As I said I wasn’t at my most rational, I had many family problems and just wanted to stay in my apartment but couldn’t. When she said that I felt as if I were back in Junior High and the teachers were leading the teasing against me. I never felt so alone in my life. My radio station that I have supported for years failed me. She really didn’t have to talk about on the radio. That was a classless act.
I felt as though she pasted my e-mail on the FUV bulletin board and told the world my name. I felt as though I was going to be singled-out for ridicule and worse. I had no idea how much worse my life was going to get. Nothing to do with Claudia.
I did what anybody would do in the circumstances. I cried me a river. Then I called my mommy who said that I was wrong in e-mailing them, but she couldn’t reassure me that Bush and the Bin Ladens weren’t planning something.
Two weeks later, my mom called and asked me if I thought that the attack was retribution for all the horrible things that we had done to other countries. I was in full patriot mode by then and thought that my mom was on the fast road to dementia. Fortunately, I was able to answer her neutrally. Some people think so, but I can’t believe that. Right hadn’t I recently thought that we were going to blow off the ends of the earth?