Conditt with two ts

During a lull in my capacity as computer czar at St. Joseph the Worker I checked the news feeds on my iphone. I gasped and said “what!” when I saw the identity of the serial bomber in Austin Texas. Apparently he blew himself up when he was being approached by the police. I sent a message to my siblings and then the pinging started in earnest as everyone responded in a state of horror and aghast.

The names of his parents and grandparents are similar to two of my siblings. Those interviewed as his friends, all remarked how “good” the family is but how much a loner the young man seemed to be. He was home-schooled in a Christian home just outside of Austin. Of course it’s the news du jour.

I felt anxious and twisty in my stomach. I told Patrick and Rae what I had learned; they seemed to be nonplussed. I wanted to tell others (Ruben?) but I refrained. I told Scott S at the AA meeting at noon. I told him that I felt very self-conscious. Even ordering at Starbucks made me queasy even though I kept telling myself “nobody knows your name.”

Scott opined that 99.9% of the people don’t make the connection between the name of the bomber and my family name. I don’t know about that. When Rep. Gary Condit from California was in the news in the late 1990s due to the death and dalliance he may have had with a female associate, I had to keep saying that he was not a relation. Now with this new tragedy, the line seems to be more clearly drawn, based on the two ts

I had to give my name to the Behavior Health workers when I checked in for my appointment with nurse Yokem. I had to give my name at Walgreens when picking up the meds. I had to give my name to the receptionist (even spelling the name) at the physical therapy facility. Each time I was self-conscious, shamed, angry, exposed in so doing. What do they think of me? I’m appalled at the protests of the “good Christian home” he comes from even though he made bombs filled with nails that were designed to be very lethal and he wound up killing and wounding several people. He’s dragged not only his “good” family into this mess but all the good people who have his name.

My siblings report being harassed by strangers simply because of their name. I fear for my nephews in the Austin area, especially the youngest one who’s got special needs. This may pose a pressure on him (and his dad being here in Phoenix doesn’t help matters) that can push him to act out.

The only good news to this is that this will blow over in a week. Something (someone) else will catch the nation’s attention and life will lurch onwards. But in the meantime, it’s a queasy existence, not unlike experiencing an earthquake: you take for granted that the earth will stand still, then all of a sudden, things start moving in ways you least expect.

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