When I started to read Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close I didn't know it was about September 11th.
If I had known, I probably would never have begun.
Thank God, I did. It's the best book--the best piece of art--I've ever come across.
"In the days and weeks that followed, I read the lists of the dead in the paper: mother of three, college sophomore, Yankees fan, lawyer, brother, bond trader, weekend magician, practical joker, sister, philanthropist, middle son, dog lover, janitor, only child, entrepreneur, waitress, grandfather of fourteen, registered nurse, accountant, intern, jazz saxophonist, doting uncle, army reservist, late-night poet, sister, window washer, Scrabble player, volunteer fireman, father, father, elevator repairman, wine aficionado, office manager, secretary, cook, financier, executive vice president, bird watcher, father, dishwasher, Vietnam veteran, new mother, avid reader, only child, competitive chess player, soccer coach, brother, analyst, maitre d', black belt, CEO, bridge partner, architect, plumber, public relations executive, father, artist in residence, urban planner, newlywed, investment banker, chef, electrical engineer, new father who had a cold that morning and though about calling in sick..."
I forget all the time. That it was someone's mother and another's daughter, and another's love-of-his-life.
I hate that people use the phrase 9/11. It's so small. And is so easy to say. Why did we have to condense the term? To make it easier to live with? I don't think it should be easy. Or pedestrian.
We have to remember. Not the timeline, not the ticker-tape of events, but the details. Because it's in the details that we find the humanity--of others as well as our own.
So for today, try.