September 1st, 2000

Panoply

Thoughts: September 12, 2001

Thoughts: September 12, 2001

The monsters under the bed are real.

Some of us have always known this; most of us had it drilled into our heads yesterday morning. Yesterday’s horrors could have taken place on almost any day of the past fifty years, but most of us gratefully lack the peculiar turn of imagination that would have made us aware of that fact.

Safety is a lie.

It has always been a lie, of course, but it is such a warm and comforting and PLEASANT lie that we have chased it and embraced it and been willing to sell off our souls in small increments to preserve it… and now it is gone.

There are actions to be taken, of course. Perhaps we will be able to identify the killers, and take our vengeance upon their patrons. Perhaps we will finally learn that there are no circumstances in which an airline cockpit door should be opened under duress. Perhaps.

For today, though, they have won. Every flight cancelled, every building closed, every person who changes his or her plans out of fear is a victory for the monsters.

The way to beat them—the only way that has any hope of succeeding—is to get on with life as normally as possible as quickly as possible. Yes, we are afraid; after yesterday’s terrible awakening, we will always be afraid. But we must stand up straight and go on with life as if we were not, as if this had never happened.

Because otherwise the monsters win.

Paul Haynie
9/12/01