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my glamorous life

episodes & recollections

#66 room for living


(Another) plane crashed into my city, killing everyone aboard and some on the ground as they celebrated one American holiday and prepared for another.

We spent the day repainting the living room. It felt like an affirmation.

Later it felt like arthritis. Her legs and my back ached.

Outside, sirens wailed and the nearby Empire State Building was evacuated. I phoned my Dad. His back is out and he’s going in for tests.


Spent ten hours producing ten seconds worth of Flash animation for an upcoming Warner Bros. site.

Admired the living room. Worried about her trip, and not merely because she was flying.

Retired early. Neither of us could sleep.


In Kabul, women unveiled and men shaved their beards.

She rose at 4 a.m. to catch a 7 a.m. flight home. Called at nine to let me know the plane had delivered her safely. It was the kind of phone call we used to make without thinking about it.

I bear the first name of my mother’s father, who died in a plane crash when my mother was a child. Throughout my youth, his photographed likeness smiled at me from the top of my mother’s piano.

For a while, in some childish way, I thought I too was fated to die in a plane crash. Then I got over it. Now I’m not so sure.

Spent all day in a comforting blanket of JavaScript, Photoshop, and Flash. Kept working ’til 5 a.m. Could not sleep.


American aid workers accused of “promoting Christianity” were freed in Afghanistan, and Taliban supreme leader Mullah Mohammed Omar spoke of a plan to destroy the United States, possibly with nuclear or chemical weapons.

On three hours’ sleep, I prepared for a panel I’ll be leading in New Orleans, and presented ten days’ work to my client.

Everyone I know in New York seems to have a low–grade cold or flu they just can’t shake. Me too. Maybe it’s the stress.

In the past twelve months, my mother died after a long and horrible illness, I published my first book, my business took a financial hit from which it has not yet recovered, I fell in love, I ended a seven year relationship, I lost two friends and six thousand neighbors, my city turned into an armed camp, and my country declared war.

The thing seems to be that we keep going, that we forgive others and ourselves, that we do what we think is right even when it’s hard and even when it hurts. That we bury our dead and fly on our planes and paint our living rooms. That we tip well and say, “Thank you,” and say, “Maybe you’re right.” That we endure.

15 November 2001

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