Tuesday, January 1, 2008
When one makes lists, like I did of those who have fallen to assassins' bullets, foolish things can be implied. Bhutto was no saint, and her PPP is far from a democratic ideal--but still, I had grown accustomed to her voice, to her sensual face, her carefully aligned head scarf, to the adoring older women who seemed to accompany her every where and even to her vanity. No one should leave this world in a puff of smoke created by dissension. And then I saw the eyes of Condoleeza Rice on the Lehrer Report, where I see my American news, and thought I saw sorrow, tiredness, perhaps the thought of what have I done, it all seemed so easy, to push this woman, a woman like me, who puts herself in men-held spaces, who likes to hold power in her carefully manicured hands, who like me, in meetings where the fate of the world is being discussed, always sits demurely, with legs in proper positions, so no flash of flesh will interrupt the discourse of control, what I have done at my boss' bidding, to help seduce this woman to return to her death, oh just another political maneuver, we have done so many, and sometimes we get caught--but that is only in the pages of newspapers--I fly in and I fly out, I leave the demands, both hidden and spoken, on the table and get back on my jet, serving my belief, serving the Chief of State, a small man, yes, but I can live with what I have to do--not like Colin who could not swallow after a while. A puff of smoke and this woman, so unlike me, so like me in her public face, composed, well done up, this woman is blown off the face of the earth. It was just a ploy, it was just a foreign policy scheme and we needed something, it's all falling apart, and that's my job, to push at the cracks, to carry on my well groomed back, the latest device of saving face even if its creates mayhem--but this woman, whose voice still rings in my ear, this woman who somehow thought she was heads and shoulders above the fractured men, this woman with whom I laughed as I so gently shoved, his woman to whom I promised just enough, had her half her head blown off. Like me, that head, so filled with unusual education for a woman, so they say, blown off, dust to dust and I look with tired eyes out on the Washington world, speak in a strained voice about our next move in the region and I wonder, when my time here is done, will be I able to swallow, to think, to play my beloved sonatas, to touch another body and not see her face, sheared from all her life.