of all the films you could have chosen, ash
life is funny.
i have been melancholy all day here.
it’s been september 11th in new zealand, but it’s been september 10th in new york while i quietly grieve, the time change taunting me with the reminder that i can’t even grieve in synch with my own city.
i hadn’t wanted to dwell today on the memories. the desperate phone calls to friends and lovers and exes. the cell phone lines down. the ash. the panic that gripped us for days. the whole bottom part of my island, my birthplace, severed off with tape, gagged in smoke and loss and impossibility. my whole country in a shocked paralysis that i don’t think it’s ever quite recovered from. the appearance of childish american flags drawn in messy colored pencil and crayon nailed onto my neighbors doors. the fear.
so i decided to stay away from the news, the memorials, the tributes, and just be quiet. i am so far away from home. i haven’t laid eyes on new york – my home, in so many ways – in over two years.
neil and i told ash we could have a family lockdown movie night.
ash recently saw home alone and loved it – he is obsessed with kevin and his ingenious traps – and has been bugging us to watch the sequel ever since. i have never seen any of these movies. so we downloaded “home alone 2”. really. ok. fine.
lost in new york, apparently.
and there i was.
lying between ash and neil, frozen with emotion, watching long, languorous footage of the twin towers from 1991, as a fictional ten-year-old trickster boy on the roof of one of the towers looks out on the world, full of awe and joy.
i nearly wept, but i didn’t.
i wept when i saw the footage of central park.
i would give anything to take my now-almost-6-year-old son on a walk through central park today. to show him the green green trees and the blue blue sky, to ride the carousel and buy him a new york pretzel with mustard, to point up into the air above and exclaim
“look! ash! a plane!”
with not a trace of fear whispering in the darkest marrow of my mother bones.