"Why?" That is the question people ask me most. Pourquoi? Why? For what? Why do you walk on the wire? Why do you tempt fate? Why do you risk death. But, I don't think of it this way. I never even say this word, death. La mort. Yes of okay, I said it once, or maybe three times, just now... But watch, I *will* not say it again. Instead, I use the opposite word. Life. For me, to walk on the wire, this is life. C'est la vie.
[now standing in the torch of the Statue of Liberty] So, picture with me it's 1974, New York city, and I am in love with two buildings - two towers. Or as everyone in the world will calls them, the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. They call to me. These towers, they stir something inside of me, and they inspire in me a dream. My dream is to hang a high-wire between those twin towers, and *walk* on it! Of course, uh, this is impossible, not to mention, illegal. So, why attempt the impossible? Why follow your dream? But, I cannot answer this question why, not with words. But I can show you how i happened. And so, we must go back in time, and across the ocean, because my love affair with these beautiful towers did not begin in New York. In case you couldn't tell, I'm not from here. No, my story begins in another one of the world's most beautiful cities, se Paris.
You remember Guy Tozzoli from the press conference, one of the men behind the creation of towers, he loved the walk, and he gave me a pass to the observation deck, so I could go any time I wanted. And I went there many times, alone. I would find myself there looking at the void, to see how the thought comes back. How the feeling returns. Because it was a beautiful day.
And you know this pass I was given? [holding up the card] Well, these passes they have a date on them. A date when they expire. But on my pass, Mr. Tozzoli, he crossed out the date and he wrote on it: FOREVER.
[atop the south tower for the first time] I find myself standing on an island floating in mid-air... at the edge of the void. And of course, I automatically look at the opposite tower. But now, I had to dare... to look... Down. Now I know what the void is. I'm a wire-walker. The void is my domain. But not this void. But somehow I gather the strength to whisper, whisper so the demons won't hear. It's impossible... But I'll do it.
Why did you do this?
There is no "why." Just because. When I see a beautiful place to put my wire, I cannot resist.
[narrating] The story of my adventure was in the news all over the world. In France, when Papa Rudy heard of it, he was the happiest Papa Rudy in the world. And when Papa Rudy's angry, he's deadly angry. But when Papa Rudy's happy, his dogs get a double ration of food.
You know Philippe, the Towers seem different. They're different now.
That's right. They're different because you walked up there. Every New Yorker I talk to now says they love these towers.
[looking up at the towers] Perhaps you brought them to life, Philippe - given them a soul.
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