And then I will tell you a story.
1974. Philippe Petit's been working since 1968 on his coup, something they're calling the "artistic crime of the century" but is actually the opposite: Walking back and forth between the Twin Towers, 140 feet across and 1368 feet up. Everybody's there, they came from miles around. It's weird to think about now, but people originally didn't like the architecture of the WTC. It's Petit that makes it beautiful.
I can't imagine what it's like to be Philippe Petit, but you easily can imagine being down there, staring up at him. This tiny speck. And you look around yourself, what do you see? Not rubberneckers, not photographers or particular fans of performance art. Just people who want to see it happen, this guy doing something so ballsy and so stupid and so magnificent, and to be a part of it. To hold him up, just by hoping, and take part in something amazing.
Maybe there's push-and-pull, maybe there's scuffles breaking out around you. Some guy loud-talking on his phone or some parent being shitty to their kids. Nobody's perfect, except for strangers. And even though nominally this moment is about Phillippe Petit -- about the door he's cracking open in the idea of cities, with his art -- actually it's not about him at all. It's about looking around at everybody else and realizing that in wondering why everybody else is there, you've somehow started thinking deeper about yourself.
It's about the relief you'll feel, the same smile on everybody's face at once, when he's pulled it off. Another exit found. Most of all, it's about the relief of knowing for certain that not a single one of us actually wants to see him fall. And the ease of looking up again, squinting into the sun, when you go back to holding him up. That you actually know all the steps to the dance, and so does everybody else.
And you say, because we're sure now: "We are in it to win it."
And you say: "There. Now we are so much less alone."