Earlier this spring news reached out from a mountain city in Pakistan to my small apartment in Guatemala, as it did all over the world, that Osama bin Laden was dead. I was alone as the message first appeared on the Facebook page I let idle in the background when I’m working.
I put aside an essay I was writing and sat quietly on the couch, staring at my laptop, watching the news spread virally through the pages of my former students from Brooklyn, many of whom I’d been with on September 11, 2001. From most of them, now in their late 20s and still living in New York City, the news was perfunctorily given: a link to the New York Times or the Daily News websites, a one sentence observation of good riddance, a profile picture changed out for an image of Lower Manhattan or one of a cousin who was with Ladder 12 and never took a step backwards once he hit the doors of the South Tower.
It was a half an hour before