So the most familiar twenty-five or so percent of Joplin, Missouri, has been flattened by tornadic storms and it happened while I was eating hot dogs and baked beans. By the end of the evening I was sitting at my girlfriend's parent's house watching images from somewhere I'd surely never been, and the sky in the northwest had this look like a spent light bulb. Beauty of after-storm calms, et al.
I've read poems about Joplin, poems by someone from Joplin, and have heard it mentioned passing in song. "Route 66." Joplin a place for passing through, is the gist.
I'm trying to find, maybe, what Joplin meant to me. Which is pointless. What it means to me has nothing to do with what happened there last night. Yet part of me won't accept it because the relationship to me is unclear; what damage is there until I quantify it by what it means to me? This makes me feel shitty and weird. Thousands of peoples' tragedy becomes fodder for my solipsistic musing.
At least one hundred dead, they say now. Nothing looks familiar and breezes are free to toss about in the homes still standing.
"...atomic bomb went off..." etc.