Kage Baker and I got our first glimpse of the World Trade Center buildings falling on our way to work that September morning. Our favourite little coffee shop had a tiny telly behind the counter, showing the footage as the first plane hit.
We thought it was a special effects preview of some movie. Took us a minute to realize it was real. And then the second tower went down as we drove, dazed, to work. Like everyone else, we had friends who lived in New York – it would be over a week before we had accounted for all of them, and we were lucky: they were all unharmed.
Kage said, “It doesn’t make any sense, but I keep thinking it would never have happened if Daddy was still alive.” (He had died a few months previously.) She said, “I have to be a grown up now, and this is like a dose of poison in my adulthood.” She said, “The world just isn’t safe anymore.”
It never was, of course, but we all try to ignore that as much as we can: to dwell on it too much is a road to insanity. And the world isn’t really any safer today, with Osama bin Laden dead. But it feels a little safer, if only because that one particular viper will never bite anyone again. I can at least be sure of that.
I’m going to cling a little to that thought, as people get over their amazement at the news and resume snarling and calling names. Fox News has congratulated Bush. A half-dozen conspiracy theories are already spinning around this. The National Review thinks it was an act of arrogance for President Obama to announce the strike personally.
More people must have been avidly watching Celebrity Apprentice than I ever imagined …
Time to put my feet up and have another cup of coffee.