It was difficult to pay attention to anything but the mass of people that seemed to constantly surround me. Throughout the day, I found fears of terrorist attacks—or disbelief at how a terrorist attack had not yet occurred at the park—infiltrating my mind. I remember being packed into a bus on the way from our hotel to the park, standing with my pale tourist arms and legs rubbing against child limbs and moms’ Bermuda shorts, and thinking how perfect of a target we would be.
At 6 am I am standing in a line that stretches along the gates of Vesuvio Playground, a small urban park on the corner of Spring Street and Thompson Street in Soho. At 6:30 am, a CBS news van pulls up to the corner across the street. A young brunette woman and her cameraman jump out of the van and sprint into action. Panorama shots of the line are taken.
I’ve long believed the surest sign of a good mind is an understanding that things could be another way without allowing for the possibility of your resistance, through the agencies of people and institutions and objects that do not encircle or overlap yours. If there is a person here you love that person could instead be at Dartmouth caressing another and unaware of your existence; if you are right-handed your arm could instead be broken as a young child and you a lefty as a result; if today your father is a good father or a bad one he could instead swerve to miss an animal and drown in a cold river six months ago.
It was a Thursday night, and my best friend Dana and I couldn’t think of anything to do. Our usual evening activities, as is probably true for many people aged nine, were of the destructive nature; we’d erect elaborate blanket … Read More