Thursday, the 13th of September 2001: What Is a “Normal” Life?

9/11 happened on a Tuesday.

(It just so happened this was Ying’s birthday.  Also the day that she passed away, two years ago, in Tel Aviv.  She was 37.  Now 9/11 evokes a complicated layer of feeling that pretty much guarantees self is a basket case for a few days before and a few days after)

On the Thursday after 9/11, self hunted down a copy of The New York Times.  Copies had been scarce, the day before.  But on Thursday, she actually found a copy, she doesn’t remember now whether she got it from Borders or from Kepler’s.  Self found the 2001 newspaper in the garage this morning, when she was cleaning out some shelves.

These were the front-page headlines.  The names in parentheses are those of the reporters:

  • A Grim Forecast:  Barest Count, by Three of Hundreds of Firms, Has 1,500 Missing (by Robert D. McFadden)
  • A City of Quiet:  Nothing Is Same One Day After (by N. R. Kleinfield)
  • On a Doomed Jet, Passengers Vowed to Perish Fighting (by Jodi Wilgoren and Edward Wong)
  • A Few Moments of Hope in a Mountain of Rubble (by Dan Barry)

Self finds it incredible that coherent stories could be constructed, barely two days after the calamity.  Likely, no one at the Times slept:  not the editors, not the reporters, not even the drivers of the vans that dropped off copies of the newspaper to various distribution points.

A quote from the first article listed above states:

A nation that had been aghast and mostly shut down on Tuesday tried to move back toward a semblance of normal life.  Across the country, businesses, shopping malls, government offices and skyscrapers reopened.

Also from the same article:

Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani said that 82 bodies had been recovered from the smoking wreckage of the World Trade Center, a fraction of the thousands he said were presumed dead.

Incidentally, in about 10 days self will be in New York.  As it happens, with Dearest Mum.  She hasn’t been in New York with Dearest Mum since 1995.  That is the city where Dearest Mum grew up.  Self is going to try and mine her memories for all she’s worth.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.


Knee-Jerk Magazine has a poll regarding The Huffington Post‘s now famous or infamous post by Anis Shivani (Anis has some super-big c—-es, self just has to say!) on “America’s 15 Most Over-rated Writers.”

Please participate in their poll.  Here’s the question posed by Knee-Jerk:

The Huffington Post made lit headlines when they posted Anis Shivani’s list of the 15 most overrated contemporary authors.  Is there a prose writer on that list that you’d like to defend?

And here’s the link, for anyone who cares to participate in the poll.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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