9/11 Revisited

I have a bunch of things I wanted to write about (and probably will at some point over the next couple days), but the thing that's jumped to the top of the list with a bullet (or a boxcutter, as the case may be), is the 9/11 Commission Report.

I finished a rather innocuous Jane Austen mystery the night before last, so I picked up the next book in my pile, which happened to be the 9/11 report. I was riveted from the first page; it's the little details about the hijackers, the hijackings, and the various responses at all levels, from airport ticket counter personnel to security screeners to air traffic control, the FAA, and NORAD, that completely and utterly fascinated me.

I started reading huge passages out loud to Al, but after about five or six of these, he asked me to stop. He found it too unnerving and sad, and he was afraid he wouldn't be able to sleep. For me, sadness didn't really come into play. There were things I found a bit shocking, but for the most part I was riveted in a forensic sense (in the same way I can look at the truly gruesome photos in Practical Homicide Investigation and say to myself, "ah, so that's what a .45 caliber handgun does to a skull when fired at close range").

I read a bit more after Al's request that I stop reading aloud, but as I was tired (and a little concerned that Al might be right about the details disturbing my sleep—at this point, just about everything else, from a sore belly to leg cramps to hellacious heartburn to a hungry cat, is making it impossible to sleep well, and adding another reason for sleeplessness didn't seem like a good idea), I turned out the light in the middle of the section on NORAD and the FAA.

As it happened, I fell asleep right away and slept better than I have in days (except for one incident in the middle of the night where Al apparently tried to comfort me—I must have been whimpering—and accidentally woke me up instead). I didn't dream about hijackers or desperate passengers trying to break down the door to the cockpit on Flight 93 or the NORAD chain of command. Instead I dreamed about joining Al on a 160-mile walk in Montana that was somehow related to his fantasy football draft (which is tonight), about forgetting to pack my thyroid medication for the trip, and about Jonah sharing our accommodations there (and taking too long in the shower). I slept straight through until 8:30am without having to get up to pee or walk around to relieve the pressure on my sore hips, without Annie waking me up by trying to pry open her food bowl down in the living room, and without stomach acids trying to burn a hole in my esophagus. I can't wait to read more of this amazing report tonight.

Posted by Lori in books and pregnancy at 10:34 AM on August 26, 2004