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  • It was the fire tomorrow.

    It was the fire stem and the abandonment of all things holy.

    It was the atomic bomb, the Hiroshima bomb, the least of the two bombs dropped on Japan that week in August. August, and the living is easy. August and the folks are at the lake, the cottage, the laboratory, the high desert, the salt pans, the decision rooms.

    It was the lazy-dazy weekend, a Sunday night. What was it like in Washington, D.C.? When the orders given were followed out?

    The date we gruesomely mark, the date when the B-29 bomber the Enola Gay dropped the equally gruesomely named atomic bomb "Little Boy" on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, to devastate a people in order to bring peace----killing 80,000 people flat out, right away, and by year's end between 90,000 and 140,000 people due to sickness, injury, radiation, and destroying two-thirds of Hiroshima's buildings----the date we mark is August 6.

    It was a Monday, that August 6, 1945. They dropped the bomb at 8:15 a.m. Japan time.

    Which would make it 13 hours earlier on the east coast of the United States, where the capital sits. So, from the point of view of Washington, D.C., where the actual bodies of the actual deciders sat, it was a Sunday night, in the summer, at 7:15 p.m. The end of a weekend.

    Were folks driving back into cities for work the next day? Were they on their actual two weeks off by the actual dock of the actual bay? Did they know anything? Were they service men and women, on barracks, on ships, on leave?

    But when I think of Hiroshima and Japan is on my mind, as it is this weekend, and will be this week, when August 9 marks the ever more strong bomb dropped on Nagasaki (a mere three days between them), I will also be thinking how it was, what it looked like, what it smelled like, what was that first August Sunday like, when in North America, the tops dogs knew what was going to happen.

    What was it like that August Sunday night, in Washington, as the beginning of civic twilight began?

    What was it like as the mere scraps, the slightest shreds of the gloaming, the blue hour, the magic hour began?

    When it was eventide on our side, what was it like when it was morning, waking, on their side, before a city began to be a flaming pit, and the world's genes changed?

    (Painting of man in hospital, by Susan)
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