Sep 11, 2011

Beyond the planes hitting the towers, which so resembled a special effect, and even the buildings collapsing, the most indelible memories of 9/11 to me were the scenes of people jumping out of upper floor windows. Forced out by the infernal heat and perhaps also by the sheer horror around them. Forced out by what the body couldn't stand and what the mind wouldn't accept.

And so from time to time, sometimes in a dream, sometimes not, my mind holds fast to the thought of the couple stepping out into thin air hand-in-hand, or by the sight of the man in the Drew photo, the 'falling man' portrayed by the performance artist in the DeLillo novel.

Or there is the moment a policeman described to me once. A teenage boy with a gun sitting on stoop. This was in the docks of Marin. The policeman approaches the boy, tells him to put down the gun, but the boy is locked. The cop says what you're trained to say in such a situation. But at some point the boy and the cop realize that there is nothing to be done, the force of destiny or just a broken down mind, something has gone too far, and somewhere in that moment the boy kills himself.

Or the scenes that keep repeating, where you under the surface of the tsunami, where human life is deconstructed, and at the same time blown apart and held in place. the sea's plunder, and in that vast black realm of oil and junk, from a toothpick to a two-story house, inside the real Godzilla, the bodies: patients from the Sendai hospital; the elderly couple whose daughter came to the rescue but couldn't quite them into the car in time; fisherman floating inside their boats; a child inside a car

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