On my way outside this afternoon, Tai phoned from her car and asked if I'd been hit by a plane. I assured her I had not, and she went on to tell me of a US Airways flight to Charlotte that crashed only minutes earlier and was sinking into the frigid waters of the Hudson River.
I imagined the pilots, the terrified passengers and those who loved them.
"Maybe everyone will survive," I said, hearing the lie in my own voice.
"Yes," Tai agreed unconvincingly. "Maybe everyone will survive."
I left the apartment and went on my walk--I could see the Hudson River from the corner of my eye. It would have been easy to get closer, go on top of the neighbor's roof and watch the tragedy unfold from the distance--but I didn't want to.
As I walked through the snow, my heart was sinking along with the plane, and I thought of Tai driving in her car, 3000 miles away, feeling the same.
When my feet got too cold, I turned around toward home and my cell phone rang. It was Tai.
"Everyone survived," she said quietly. "Everyone survived."