Anatomy of a Column
eggy Noonan awoke startled, the dream had been so real, so real. Her heart was racing fast, faster. The dirty hippies in her dream were so real, so frightening she was sure that they had been there. Picking up the signed Jose Canseco bat she kept near the bed, Noonan walked into the next room in the Aviary (the name she had given her tiny Penthouse, so small, so chic).
“Oh, no, they’ve been here again,” she whispered to herself, her small birdlike hands instinctively clutched the pearls she never took off. Quickly, she dialed the doorman.
“Call the police, they’ve been here again!”
“Miss Noonan, the police have told us not to bother them. They said that you are the one who wrote “Helter Skelter” on your wall the last three times. They said you had been huffing spray paint.”
The insolent little man had hung up on her. Hitting the speed dial, Juan confirmed he could be over to paint her walls the normal, cheery yellow. “Si, Ms. Noonan, I keep a bucket of it here at the shop. You’re my best customer!” and he then added, “those damn dirty fucking hippies, why do they torture you so?”
Noonan checked the locks on the door, which were operating properly. “They must have keys,” she whispered to herself, and calculating the cost of changing the seven locks again.
Things like this did not happen to Noonan in her childhood, her golden childhood. Her father was a war hero, and he had kept the family safe. They were the greatest generation, the Reagans, the Bushes, the war heroes, the generation that had saved the world from facism, survived the great depression, and had presided over the greatest economic expansion of the world. “More heroes, oh we need more heroes, heroes that protect us from horrors like this, oh brave men, and I suppose now women. Oh heroes, oh heroes.”
Noonan reached for the paper bag with the can of spray paint in it and took a big huff.
“Those Who Make Us Say ‘Oh’” — by Peggy Noonan