All this teeters on the edge of solipsism, but Daisey pulls it back by remaining wryly aware that his is only one of the millions of stories of that day, and not a particularly eventful one at that. But that, he seems to suggest, is why he wants to tell it: to remind us that Sept. 11 was not just a national catastrophe but a specific event with specific repercussions in many individual lives.
And that, in case you’re wondering, is how Camus comes in. Daisey never makes the connections explicit, but there’s a critical moment when it’s impossible not to hear the French existentialist’s cool, crystalline insistence that no matter what surrounds us, it’s our inner being — our “invincible summer” — that determines our fate. When he was halfway across the bridge, Daisey says, the first tower fell, and “everyone made a choice”: to stop and look, to look but not stop, or to keep walking without even glancing back.
That’s the kind of moment that, on the right night, can create an enchanted hush in a theater.