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Shrine to a Flight Attendant

San Francisco, Calif.
September 30, 2001

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We're a long way from September 11 now, not just a continent away but weeks beyond, far enough along that men in leather pants and bondage gear can make their way proudly through the streets of The City to the S&M Fair, with no apparent sense of irreverence.

We're far enough along that we can go for a day in The City, and see Kristen & Jonathan and talk about regular things like the heat (a record-breaking 92 degrees) and the layoffs, and not even talk about airlines crashing into skyscrapers. And then we set out along Guerrero, to buy some ice cream for the kids and suddenly find ourselves standing beside a shrine of dying flowers and burnt-out candles, and already-fading photos of a pretty, smiling, young blond woman, a United Airlines flight attendant who lived in the little apartment building there, until Sept. 11, when Flight 175 was hijacked.

So we're not so far away after all.