The following is the beginning draft of an e-mail I will be sending to some of my non-New York friends who don't "get it."

The New new Yorker
It is over two months since September 11. The harsher effects of acute and post-traumatic stress syndrome have abated somewhat, leaving only a heightened sensitivity to danger and a quicker tendency to tears. At least the former seems natural given the circumstances of living and working near Ground Zero and other cultural targets, and the latter is a form of release. The occasional admonition to return to "normal" jars, invoking the Ruben Bolling reference to "friends who call but don't 'get it.'"

Every scrap of identity is affected by circumstance. As an American, a Jew, a father, a husband, a New Yorker, a government official, a music-theatre composer, a commuter, a consumer, and as Barry Drogin, everything is different every day. "Normal" has shifted to such a completely different time and point in space, that finding it may be impossible, but certainly ignoring the fact that there is a war on, that Ground Zero exists, that the terrorist threat is real and present, cannot be included in it. Temporary passages to such a place are not a return to normal but self-indulgent if well-deserved moments of escapism.

Link back to My Personal September 11 Page.

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Last Updated: September 12, 2007