12 September 2011
On September 12, 2001, I wrote a thing about the day before. (Though I was living in Brooklyn at the time, that week I just happened to be in Los Angeles.) Here it is with some pictures I took when I returned to New York.
Remains of the Day
The thing to remember in the face of death is that it is a moment when we who live through it are the most alive. We notice the same things. Reality comes into focus.
This morning, you freeze up when you hear the news and drop a handful of change on your hardwood floor: three nickels, four dimes, six pennies, one quarter. You wonder where on Earth the news photographers are going to get their awful negatives developed and their pictures processed. You decide to take up smoking again, and the brown-skinned clerk at the 7-Eleven where you buy them is upset because a customer came in this morning to make hateful accusations. Calls arrive from everyone you know, but there‘s little to say, so these conversations are brief. You want to cleave to ex-lovers, because the problems you had seem minor now. As you drive to work, you look pedestrians in the eye and share a moment. You open a door on a co-worker, and he recoils and squints his eyes. “A little jumpy today,” he says. There is a common understanding.
“We’ve given up a little of our freedom today,” a police chief says on the radio. But it‘d be wrong to give that up. We will give blood instead. Read more »
Posted by Alec Hanley Bemis