I woke up not too badly hungover from Friday night's drink-up with the neighbors.
Scout came downstairs and, flipping through channels—it was rainy—I noticed there was a hell of a lot of 9/11 stuff on TV, and the date dawned on me.
For a few hours, we watched the real-time rebroadcast of the NBC coverage from that insane Tuesday morning nine years ago. I explained to Scout, almost seven, as much as I could, about airplanes and hijacking, both refreshed and befuddled by her questions. "Why did the pilots let those guys steer the plane?" (They had box-cutters?)
Scout lost interest once the towers were down. Cristie came down and fell back asleep in the armchair, and while Manhattan burned (again) and Tom Brokaw said amazingly prescient things, I dozed off on the couch.
Still in my underwear at 2:00 and having ignored several phone calls from friends, I told Scout we were going to the Irish bar around the corner to eat brunch and play Golden Tee video golf. Cristie stayed back to make a grocery list for the evening. The Mexican cook, Marta, kissed Scout on the forehead and asked her, "Don't you want brother, or sister?" Scout nodded, yes; Marta looked at me significantly; I shrugged.
While picking up the grocery list—I was making a meatloaf log with mashed potatoes inside and Cristie was making apple pie—I checked my e-mail, and also, while I was at it, Facebook. Michael Gerson, who I have friended because he used to be chief speechwriter at the White House, had posted the following:
"The world has turned over many times since 9/11. Memories fade. But I witnessed something I won't forget. I saw a good man find greatness within him. I saw a president comfort a shaken nation, then embody its resolution. Following 9/11, George W. Bush was America — all of its sympathy, its decency, its toughness. I feel privileged to have shared the duties of those terrible, vivid, shining days with him."
Gerson did pen a good speech that Bush gave to a joint session of congress on Sept. 20; but he can't let 9/11 pass without giving us a chance to remember his contribution. His friends took the bait and thanked him for his service. I typed into the comment box, "My God, Michael, you are a smarmy and self-satisfied man," and stared at the words for a whole minute before erasing them. Why spend my perfectly good rancor on Facebook?
The meatloaf was undercooked and the mashed potatoes were runny as shit. But we did have fun listening to Nora Jones while we all cooked and baked, and we watched the marvelous Fabulous Mr. Fox, an hour past Scout's bedtime.
You don't say "happy nine-eleven."
But really, it was. And, whoever deserves credit for it, I am glad we're all still around.