Insanely good night – good poetry – good readers – and I had a good reading.. even while I recognized the terribly solemn. . .there was good stuff to be found.
Because When You’re Six –
To be honest, I would like to forget, I would prefer not to remember. I would enjoy not knowing. I don’t want to be given some CNN, narrated by Wolf Blitzer, version of the event.
And to be honest, there’s no way I could forget feeling by 9:45am that world was bound to be ending. People fell out of the sky. Men ran not away from, but into fires. And me, I became a grown woman by 10:22.
That day was perfect, blue skies in Boston, as far as you could see. And while I was downing a coffee to erase a Monday night Jack and Coke bender, I remember smiling as I rounded the corner on to Huntington ave.
But then within minutes, in only the time it took to start a computer, every email I sent to someone I knew in NYC said, “are you okay, is everyone you know okay?”
Every phone line was jammed, I woke my brother in my mother’s house, and said “turn on the tv”.
The Harvard docs we intended to send to Atlanta out of Logan that day — – so we were afraid –had come back to our conference room – and I watched grown men with PhD’s shatter.
When released from work, like most of Boston that day, The paper box on the corner held the Globe’s first Extra in fifty years. “War” is all it spoke.
And the walk out to the bus stop, the free bus ride home, it was as if Boston had been abandoned, because every doc who worked in the medical area that day, had caught a ride to NYC, because they thought there would be more wounded, more survivors.
I walked into a six bedroom house full of all those people, my family by circumstance, not birth. More home at that minute, than it had ever been before.
And that TV that I said to turn on, stayed on for days, and my heart hurt for every mother, father, wife, husband, and child. My heart hurt for my grandfather who was no longer bordering on stupendous.
Dan Rather lost it on Letterman, and I lost it too. Wondered how anyone managed to live through anything like this with all of their heart intact.
The half a pack-of smokes began to border on a whole, the two beers, became more, and I was dying to be able to wave a magic wand, and stop all those kids from being shipped away to fight a war in some frat boy’s passion play.
Forget, how could I – how could anyone, when four planes managed to rip out the heart of our Constitution, and deliver us an Act so Patriotic, that we began to question the Quakers in Maine.
Not remember, how would I – when it was just people going to work, and doing their jobs, like I did that day. Except mine was the just the city they flew the planes out of, not into.
So pardon me, if I don’t let the media get one more ad buy from my viewing today. Pardon me, if I sound a little bitter, but, there’s not a person over 13 who can’t tell you where they were that day–
“We had gone to Atkins for a field-trip for Preschool, Ms. B, to get cider donuts , but we had to come home, and eat our donuts on the bus. That’s what I remember Ms. B”.
Ms. B, I thought it was our Northampton airport that it happened at – though the planes had crashed there, silly huh, Ms. B?”
Not so silly – because when your six, your world gets to be that small.
So if I tell you that my heart still breaks, that I still hold my breath when a plane flies too low, and that I still get tears when I see a fireman in NYC, If I tell you all that, then, will you just let me be, will you just let me forget.