Monday, September 11, 2006

September 11, 2001

I was an expectant father. A little bit advanced in years so we had done pre-natal testing to check the health of our baby.

I was defending a commercial case. I had a very aggressive opponent who had gotten under my skin and I was overworking the case to teach him a lesson in law. We had one of the best judges in the civil division who kept his patience with our antics but nonetheless would eye us warily as we walked up to the bench.

I was driving to court on a contested motion (non-dispositive but even those were contested) when I started hearing on the radio what at first I thought was a joke broadcast along the lines of "War Of The Worlds". It took me about thirty-five minutes, culminating with the collapse of the second tower, to grasp that it was genuine. I just could not believe it.

The first thing I did when I parked, I called my parents and my brothers to make sure they were all right and to tell them to stay home that day because, as I told them, "World War III has started".

They turned us back at the courthouse. They told us to check back for our next court date. A judge I knew was outside. There must have been something showing in my face because he shook my hand and told me "take care of yourself".

I went back home and turned on the TV and watched over and over and over the attacks on the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and the downed plane in Pennsylvania.

In the midst of it I got a telephone call from our doctor. The baby's chromosomes were entirely normal and she was XX which means a girl. I could not help the thought: "My baby, what kind of world am I bringing you into?"

I want them all dead. Every filthy jihadist who could possibly hurt my baby.

(We settled the case. At the next court appearance the judge watched us very warily as we walked up. When we said, "We've settled the case, we have a stipulation to dismiss", he put his hands together, closed his eyes and said a Hail Mary.)


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