Linguist, lexicographer, writer, editor, broadcaster

Watching television after walking 75 blocks home, it feels so distant

“I’m scolding myself for being desensitized by an hour of television footage, replaying collapse timelessely. It is not like a movie and I scold myself more than that by saying I saw a plane hit the World Trade Center today and remembering that I was surprised a second plane came out of the bay and that I had instinctively stepped back from the windows, afraid of a shockwave that would break the windows I was looking through. It only happened once, horribly once. It is not surreal my fellow architects and I knew that without fire suppression systems and help, there was no way the structure was going to survive (structural steel melts after being burned for an hour) and knew exactly how it would fail. You saw several hundred people falling a hundred stories. Each of them fell only once.”

author avatar
Grant Barrett