Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch
cbertsch

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Hard To Watch

Kim and I went to see the new Spike Lee movie Inside Man this evening, while our daughter was at her "Kid's Night Out." It was light, but felt just right after a tiring week. I turned to Kim during the film and said, "This is like David Mamet." She replied that our favorite local film critic had written the same thing in his review. Anyway, it's worth a trip if you like police procedurals.

The title of this entry doesn't refer to Inside Man, which was easy too watch, but the preview for United 93 we saw beforehand. I knew from cpratt that they were making a film about September 11th and the tale of Flight 93. But I'd somehow suppressed that knowledge until the preview started. At first I was having trouble figuring out what the film was about, because I was only half paying attention. And then I saw him.

Blue-and-gold rugby shirt. Cal hat. Stooping his large frame as he entered the cabin. It was Mark. Only it wasn't. Many people knew him better than I did. I can't claim ownership of him. Because I knew him at an intense time in his life and mine, though, and because he was dating my best friend, he made a major impression on me. Kim too. "I can't look at this," she said, bowing her head. Afterwards, as we were walking back through the Foothills Mall, she explained. "I cooked food for him. He sat at my table. He pet Tibbs."

She says she won't go see the picture. I will, even though it will surely disappoint, not to mention that it will probably end up serving troubling political ends. I feel Mark deserves that much, that everyone who was on that plane does. Have I told you that we had to cancel our subscription to the New York Times back in the fall of 2001? Kim and I couldn't stand to read the 9/11 obituaries after awhile. They moved us too much.

It's hard to believe that our nation's leadership has moved us so far away from that strange time of collective grieving in only a few short years. That was a time when I didn't mind seeing American flags everywhere, when I felt solidarity with the SUV-driving Republican parents whose daughter played with ours at Gymboree. I'm sick of dividers who masquerade as uniters.
Tags: autobiography, film, history, memory
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