About That Day by Rhett Miller
The Atlantic, September 2011
Flames shoot out either side of both towers. Flames shoot out of the building that houses the Amish Market, where we grocery shop. Bodies drop from a hundred floors up. One lands on the median, right in our line of sight. Firefighters and paramedics surround it, roll it on a stretcher, and carry it off.
I feel the beginning of something that’s hard to put into words. A mechanism that I developed during my adolescence, surviving in a broken home. I am distancing myself. I know it’s real. And I know it’s bad. But I’m not going to think, right now, about what it means.
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Jennie Rothenberg Gritz, a former senior editor at The Atlantic, is now a senior editor at Smithsonian magazine.