(BTW: What “X” marks?)
When I woke up this morning at 7:30, I found it enough time to finish the book before I had to get ready for the first meeting of the day. So I took the book and dove into the last pages.
The story ends, as it turned out, with the novel’s main character and first-person narrator stepping out into a new morning, overflowing with energy and full of new plans. It is eight o’clock, “eight o’clock on the morning of September 11, 2001—just forty-six minutes before the first plane crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. [...] But for now it was still eight o’clock, and as I walked along the avenue under that brilliant blue sky, I was happy, my friends, as happy as any man had ever lived.”
Oh, what a thoughtful and touching end of a deep and wise novel, I thought when I closed the book. And what a coincidence that I have finished it on eight o’clock in the morning, exactly at the time when the story ends, I thought when I stepped out of bed.
A few minutes later under the shower, important insights often happen to people when under the shower, still thinking about the great novel I just had read: … By the way, what date is it today? … I think yesterday was the 10th … OK, then today is the 11th … September … September 11 …
Thirteen years and a few minutes after the end of the novel.
Good that I later came across the time zones issue.
Paul Auster, The Brooklyn Follies