Managed to get more done

On the second leg of my trip to Denver I scored an exit row seat so was able to use my laptop with ease. I'm wandering through the Houston section of APoS and it's meandering a bit, but that's good. It counterpoints the flashbacks Brendan's having, what we'd call PTSD, now, but back then was called battle fatigue. And since Brendan actually did come out of a battle zone, it fits.

Bits are now appearing in Brendan's memory that need to be added to the first section, in Derry, so they can connect his old world to the realities of his new world. Things like seeing someone get kneecapped, a vicious punishment that cripples the person it's done to and is usually carried out by members of the IRA, PIRA or INLA against criminals or touts (snitches); and getting beaten by Joanna's brother and friends; and comparing an American Irish Pub to the real thing, in a derogatory way that makes him miss it.

He also has a load of guilt because he's the reason his older brother, Eamonn, is arrested by the British and put in prison for 20 years. They think Eamonn had something to do with the bomb that killed 4 people and Brendan witnessed, and his proof of innocence means nothing to them. That nearly sends Brendan into a catatonic state and it takes him days to get past it so he can function, again.

Of course, the flight being an hour late into Denver gave me time for writing, but was not good for me; I was starving by the time I got my rental car and wound up with a hunger headache. It's just now beginning to wander away. But that's Southwest; you get pretzels and crackers and stuff to drink, but no food unless you bring it on. At least it was a fairly quiet flight.

We sat on the tarmac for nearly an hour waiting to be de-iced, during which time you can't do anything but stay in your seat. I'm reading Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale and it's pretty engrossing. So I got through a few chapters, including the part where Offred sees the dead men hanging from a wall by a church...which shocked me. It's indicated a couple of them were doctors who once performed abortions and were found out.

I was reminded of a moment in Sinclair Lewis' It Can't Happen Here, where an innocent man is dragged from a room and executed for no real reason in front of the main character. It was chilling in its simplicity and reality, and for the fact that he was a decent person, not someone deserving of it.

Atwood almost got that same effect, but Offred's emotions are too muted for it to resonate as much.


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