Saturday, September 02, 2006


We went up to the roof and watched the smoke billow toward us from downtown Manhattan. My friend had stood and watched the burning towers before they fell, while the rest of us were still trying to figure out what was going on. She hadn't seen the planes hit, but we heard that there was footage, that you could see it on tv. I didn't want to. Someone told me that it was terrifying at first but after seeing it a few times, you got used to it. I was offended and horrified - why would I ever want to get used to it? I wanted it always to be as gut-wrenchingly wrong as the first time I'd seen those smoking buildings from the conference room window in midtown.

I understand, now, that it's not about losing the horror, but gaining the strength to confront it. Since then I've seen footage, although I don't search it out. It's never easy to watch. One of the first was in the film "Fahrenheit 9/11" (or, maybe "Bowling for Columbine"?) at the end of a montage set to Louis Armstrong's singing "What a Wonderful World." Even now when I hear that song, I know the moment that is playing in the background when the first plane hits, and can hear the gasp and screams of the people videotaping it in the pauses in the music.


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