Sunday, September 11, 2005

So I wrote this earlier tonight, just for myself. Didn't intend to post it, since it more than slightly touches on one of those things I haven't been wanting to talk about here. But I wrote it while watching The Flight That Fought Back on Dicsovery, and the more I watched the movie, the more I thought I ought to post something here remembering the victims of September 11, 2001. And I was afraid that if I tried to come up with something else, it would descend into some sort of political finger-pointing rant. And that's not right. That's for tomorrow, maybe, but today is for the victims.

So, here's what I wrote:

So there’s this woman at a local cafe whose company I enjoy, and the feeling seems to be mutual, only she’s incredibly busy: works full time, goes to school full time, and has a four year old son. So we haven’t gone out, and we can’t go out, because she’s too busy with everything else, and all we do is have these quick conversations on the phone when we can. And on the one hand, it’s frustrating, but on the other, it’s fine, because before I met her, I wasn’t looking for anything else anyway. So if all we can do is talk when we can, then that’s what we’ll do, until things change one way or the other.

But I’m in the middle of a TV show about the passengers of United Flight 93 on September 11, 2001, and I’m watching them all calling their families to say goodbye. And I can’t imagine ever making a phone call like that, knowing that this is the last time I’d ever speak to my parents, my children, my wife, my husband, any of that. Knowing that this person that I’m talking to right now could very well be the last person that I ever speak to, ever. And I’m watching this, and I as much as I can’t imagine making that call in the first place, I absolutely cannot having to end that call, having to say goodbye.

When I talk to the Girl in the Cafe, it’s too often when we’re at work, or I’m on my way, or whatever, and the conversation could end at any second, without warning. And even though I know that moment will come, I want to put it off as long as possible. Because while I’m not trying to force my way into her life beyond what she has room for, I know that every time we say goodbye, it makes room for something to happen that might end the tenuous relationship we have. And that’s nowhere near the same thing as the people on flight 93, but it brought things home for me in a completely new way.

And if I can’t easily say goodbye to her, I can’t even conceive of how the folks on that flight were able to do it that day.

Unquestionably, what they did to stop that plane from reaching its target was an act of incredible bravery. But so was just saying goodbye and hanging up those phones.

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