Kage Baker and I were on our way to work when 9/11 started. We were in the Black Pearl, our local indie coffee shop, and the telly over the counter was turned to news. We saw the footage of the first plane striking, and went off in a daze with our morning coffee.
We were discussing it in disbelief when the next plane hit. And the day just went on, like it did for everyone else, in stunned horror.
We spent days locating our all New York friends (We had a lot. Half the publishing industry works in New York.) We were lucky as hell, and did not lose anyone. Not anyone we knew, anyway.
I’ll be about Kage’s business today, doing bookish things. They will all be a little somber, because the images of 9/11 are scrolling through everyone’s minds – while we drive, gulp our coffee, eat birthday cake, gloat over new books …
I look over at Linn, recent emigre to Seattle from New York; and I know that part of the reason she is here is because her world was irreparably shattered 10 years ago. She never felt safe again.
I remember Kage looking out at the bright blue sky and saying miserably, “I know it’s stupid, but I feel like this would never have happened if Daddy was still alive. I’m not ready to be this grown up.”
Is anybody ever really ready to be this grown up? Damned if I know. But I know it inevitably comes, allee allee oxen free, everybody come out! And you race for home and hope you don’t get tagged.
And life goes on. To refuse to go on living would be an insult to the dead – who would have liked to be waking up today, if they had had the choice. So I will go on living, and I will do the things that living people do – drink a toast to friends, eat birthday cake – because that is the whole freaking point of surviving that day 10 years ago.
I’m thinking of the same things as everybody else. And we all go on.
What the living do: http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/unbound/poetry/atlpoets/howe9404.htm