Sunday, July 13, 2008
(a movie about) that day
Last night, after putting the kids in bed, I watched United 93, the Paul Greengrass film about the only hijacked plane which didn't hit its target on September 11th. I'd heard it was good, I'd gotten a copy, but still I had waited until I thought I was ready to see it. Maybe I miscalculated.
Anette is out of town, and even though I was completely exhausted from chasing V. and Adinah around by myself all day, and even though I was drinking a tall boy to steady my nerves, I was twitching five minutes into the movie. After 18 minutes, I paused United 93 to catch my breath and try to stop shaking. I paused it again after 29 minutes, and then again every seven to ten minutes. It wasn't exactly suspense or excitement, but reliving the shock of that day was almost too much.
Since 2001, wherever I am in the world, and whoever I'm talking to, if the subject of 9/11 comes up, it's always the other person who's in a rush to say where they were the minute they heard what had happened in New York City. Oftentimes they say, 'I saw it happen!' and what they mean is that they saw it live on TV. But I really did hear those two booms. I really was on Pitt street on the Lower East Side on that beautiful fall morning when I looked half a mile south and saw a hole in the World Trade Center. I saw it all.
I guess it left a hole in me too.
Yeah, well that was almost seven years ago.
In the apocalyptic, ohmygod days and weeks after September 11th, I decided I wanted to live. To go forward somehow. I decided I wanted to have a kid. One of the shittiest Presidents we've ever had got us into even more trouble. We went to Ethiopia and met Adinah. Then we moved to Vienna, and I wasn't sorry to leave behind a country that would re-elect a shitty President. And now I miss America, but I live in Europe, and I have a foster daughter too and I work for an NGO and help refugees because I want to live and embrace life.
I wonder where I would be if that day never happened.