"Suddenly summoned to witness something great and horrendous, we keep fighting not to reduce it to our own smallness." - John Updike
On September 11, we ask, "Where were you?" We want to know how you heard the news, spent the day, how it changed you. We want to know if you were on a plane, or almost on a plane, or in a mid-American city, dreading the western expansion of terror.
We make it about ourselves, because that's all we have. We didn't know anyone, not really. All we can answer for is ourselves.
Want to know what it changed for me? It surprised me who I wanted to talk to. No, I was surprised at who I needed to know was still well, still alive.
I called my family; my friends; my uncle, the pilot; my aunt, retired from the Pentagon.
But all I could think about was the missing friends. I thought of those I couldn't call... the lost numbers, the missing letters... I thought of how careless I had been to lose those people.
It clarified all my life.
For one brief hour, in my heart of hearts, I was sure of who I loved.