I love New York

Tonya Leary and Don Duyns - 11 November 2001

Tonya: enters the room
xavier: enters the room
xavier: So, you've seen it all?
Tonya: What do you mean "seen it all"?
xavier: I mean, the collapsing of the buildings. The things we saw on tv. Again and again.
Tonya: Yes and no. I didn't see the South Tower come down. I just saw the plume of debris from the ground. I thought a bomb had gone off on the ground. It never occurred to me that the tower collapsed, until I saw the second one disintegrate.
xavier: It never occured to you because you considered it impossible?
Tonya: It never entered my consciousness that such a thing could happen. Who could conceive such a thing?
xavier: Well, someone did. Although I think nobody could have known that those towers would actually collapse. I think that's the point where they became symbols.
Tonya: I think they may have had and now have, many different representations. Depends on the "viewer".
xavier: Tonya, can you say if and how youre life has changed since the terrorist' attack? Are you living in constant fear?
Tonya: I wouldn't call it constant fear. I would describe it as heightened anxiety occasionally punctuated by fear.
xavier: The attacks, and the resulting war against terrorism as CNN calls it, have, I think, created an atmosphere, in Europe as well, in which anything can happen. Some people think it's the end of a kind of hedonism that ruled the free west for the last ten years.
Tonya: It certainly is a different world...much was taken for granted. Perhaps this is why so many people are so rattled.
Tonya: Also...the idea that "anything could happen" - it has always been there. We are now, only far too aware of it.
xavier: Yes, but I mean, it gives a 'wobbly' feeling. Those attacks have created a completeley different atmosphere on his planet.
Tonya: Yes, you are right. I was on the subway the other day and saw a lone package on a bench. Previously, I wouldn't have given it a thought. Now, when I see something like that, I feel the urge to run (something terrible is about to happen) and the urge to stay ("Get a grip! Somebody probably left it by accident).
xavier: Sorry, I mean on THIS planet. (Who's planet is it anyway?)
Tonya: It's our planet, but unfortunately, we have some elements that "don't play well with others".
pieter: enters the room
pieter: (Tonya and Don, you have ten minutes more to go. Then youll have to finish; Tonya may have the last word.)
xavier: This is offcourse the way people have lived for years in for instance Israel or Ireland. Terrorism has spread all over the place (which, to my asthonisment caused a woman in Israel to say, with a smile: 'Now they know how it is'). As for lost packages in the subway or in the theatre: I allways feared them. I also feared dogs and airplanes, but those fears I lost.
Tonya: When I have traveled overseas, there was much more awareness regarding potential terrorist threats. I was generally uncomfortable being faced with this idea. What changes for us in the US is that we are faced with dealing with the aftermath of a terrorist attack on our shores. It's here...not just "there" (where ever that might be).
xavier: Maybe that's the biggest change: the difference between here and there has blurred. One man can kill a whole town, with the 'right' tools. Also: this man - or woman - is probably living among us right now. But stay optimistic: everybody dies, and most of us not by means of a bomb.
Tonya: Violence, hatred, etc. - these are not new. I will stay optimistic - I don't have a choice.
xavier: I wish you all the best. NY is a beautifull town.
Tonya: I hate to sound cliche - but I love New York. I cannot imagine living any where else.
xavier: Nice last words. Good luck.
Tonya: Thanks to both of you.


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