Sunday, September 11, 2005

Four Years Ago

We were out walking, when a neighbor, obviously in chock, yelled at us -
"Haven't you heard, don't you know, New York, the Trade Center, they flew into it. go home".
I am not sure what he was trying to accomplish, except to share his pain and confusion.

I remember watching a lot of tv in the next few days, trying to understand, trying to figure out what to do, and I remember that I went to school that very day and we were there, in our little class on the aesthetics of Kant, feeling brave and fearful, trying not to be deflected from our plans and goals, but being desperately aware that anything could happen at any moment.

I remembered, suddenly, that I had been in the towers, only three years earlier, with my godson. We stood for a long time in the line to the elevators, changed elevators on the 78th (?) floor and were both amazed at the sights when we finally got up to the windows. Afterwards we had lunch at a TGIF and then we took the train home. It was a nice excursion. I was told later that my godson remembered this day and was very concerned that he had been in the towers and now they were gone. I felt it too, some weird sense that we were closer to the destruction because we had some memory of what the building looked like on the inside, because we had not been let in to the restaurant (I think you had to have a tie, or had to eat a very expensive meal to get a seat - something).

... Last night I fell asleep and dreamt about death. I was walking with someone and I think it was my father who died fifteen years ago. It was dark and hard to see the road and we had to get back to people and he couldn't quite. I woke up and I knew he was with me and somehow had found me across the Atlantic and there was something he still needed to do. Or maybe it felt like someone else was going to die. I knew anyway, that I was walking with death and I woke up understanding how horribly lonely old age might be and how death could become one of your closest companions. One day, at some point, my life will be over, and I don't really want that. I want to be here, do things, make my mark, I like it here and I will not go gently into that dark night.

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