In a college dorm, in a prison, in a marriage
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Alix Kates Shulman has written eleven books, most recently A Good Enough Daughter. She lives in New York City.
The Sun doesn’t usually report on current events, but September’s terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C. marked a turning point for all of us. We put out a call to our writers, inviting them to reflect on the tragedy and its aftermath. The response was overwhelming. As word got around, we received submissions not only from regular contributors but from writers who are new to The Sun’s pages.
I was hopeful as I drove my parents’ snow-covered car from their house in Shaker Heights to the Judson Park Retirement Community, where they now resided, at the edge of downtown Cleveland. After several months, Judson still seemed satisfactory to me.
Living beyond my means in a Manhattan apartment with two babies, no income, and a philandering husband, I suddenly found myself as vulnerable and dependent as any traditional suburban housewife.
Then suddenly the dull light in the car began to shine with exceptional lucidity until everything around me was glowing with an indescribable aura, and I saw in the row of motley passengers opposite the miraculous connection of all living beings. Not felt; saw. What began as a desultory thought grew to a vision, large and unifying, in which all the people in the car hurtling downtown together, including myself, like all the people on the planet hurtling together around the sun — our entire living cohort — formed one united family, indissolubly connected by the rare and mysterious accident of life.