My wife and I saw Come From Away on Saturday. I was not expecting my response to it.
Sometime between being a young man and (let’s just say) a not-so-young man, I developed what I like to refer to as “allergies.” A sad song, a moving vignette, or a movie pulling just the right strings would have me welling up. “It’s my allergies,” I’d say, fooling exactly no one. And now that I’m a grandfather it’s even worse. So it’s no surprise that I’d well up at an emotional play.
But this was different. Soon after the show started, so did I. I’m not talking about tissue-dabbing tears at the corner of my eyes, I’m talking full on crying. And except for a few moments of levity during the show, I didn’t stop until the end.
Maybe it’s because I’m a New Yorker, and the show has to do with 9/11. In the 80s, when my job was in Manhattan, I used to walk to the Twin Towers at noontime on warm spring days, foregoing lunch for a Chipwich and a chance to stretch my legs. In the 70’s, my father worked in one of the towers. My brother, too, as a summer accounting intern.
Maybe it’s because we all knew someone who lost someone.
And maybe it’s because I want to believe that people are good, that people will show their good side in a crisis. I remember reading about the town of Gander, Newfoundland soon after the attacks. They took in 7,000 people rerouted when the sky over most of North America became a “no-fly” zone. Every plane landing at the airport in their backyard was treated as a possible bomb, but the people opened their arms, their schools, their homes to travelers from all over the world.
“No worries, you would have done the same,” they told their guests, their own generosity fueling their faith in others. They were only partly right, of course; some of their guests would have, others among them wouldn’t have. It’s like that with people.
But damn, I never expected my response. I’m just glad it was only one hundred minutes long, I don’t think I could have taken much more of my allergies acting up like that.
#Come From Away #Gander #Newfoundland #Chipwich #September11