An accounting of the day

I am part of the chain.

Jeff, on the answering machine this morning: "Amy, turn on the television now."
Ten minutes later, to Kat: "Kat, turn on your television now. What channel? Any channel."
To Brad: "What are they saying up there? Please, tell me something I don't know already."
To Andrew: "Hold on, hold on….my God. It's gone."
To Heather: "Is Andy okay? Have you heard?"
To John: "Can you believe? Can you comprehend?"I sat, cross-legged, in front of the television as I mourned the loss of life and our loss of innocence. How ironic to state that anything about America, this crass old jaded bitch of a country, is innocent—yet we never, ever believed that a day like this would come.

I saw the footage of the second plane slamming into the WTC with a mix of horror, fright, and nausea. I am the person who can watch anything in cinema with the comforting knowledge that it is all faked, and that at the end of the scene, the actors get up and walk away.

By the same token, I cannot watch "reality" shows; the caring, nurturing part of me cannot bear to see that kind of pain and torment. But I watched this morning—I made myself watch. I grieved as the plane exploded … inside … the building, knowing.

This was no scene.
These were no actors.

The knowledge that you are watching someone die is horrifying, awful. Imagine multiplying that single incident by hundreds, thousands, and you understand my horror and anguish as I watched the towers fall like so many glass cards.

I did not cry. I have not cried. Yet. But I fear the tears pushing at the corners of my eyes as I write this, as I make myself come to grips with what I saw this morning, this afternoon, this evening, shoved at me over and over again.

I fear this is not over. I fear this means war. I fear myself because my heart says, "Find the motherfuckers and blow them to bits."

Death is the original unsolvable puzzle. Once life, and peace, and innocence, are undone, the thing cannot be mended. Even more death—justice though it may be, and richly deserved it may be—will not bring back our innocence—or the dead.

Lastly, to my mother: "We are safe, we are okay, we love you."