posted on Sep, 8 2007 @ 08:17 PM
The last time I was in New York was September 2nd, 2001. It was the Sunday of Labor Day weekend and I met an old friend for beer and blather at
McSorleys' Old Ale House on East 7th Street. McSorleys' is the oldest extant ale house in New York (heck, even Abe Lincoln drank there), and my
friend and I met about once a year there just to catch up on things, knock off a Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle, bitch about stuff, yammer
about politics and philosophy and kids and nephews and life and mutual friends and, of course, knock back a few cold ones.
After a long afternoon of banter and debauchery, my friend caught his subway home and I began the long walk from Greenwich Village to Grand Central
Station. I could have taken a bus or subway, of course, but I prefer to walk and see and feel New York on my skin.
Nine days later, my clock/radio went off and I hit the snooze button. Nine minutes later it went off again and the radio was playing the Imus In The
Imus was talking about a plane that had apparently crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center. Was it a passenger plane? An airliner? No
one was sure yet. Did the pilot fall asleep? Have a heart attack? Who knew? I remembered the old photos of the B-25 that hit the Empire State Building
back in 1945 with it's tail end sticking out, and I took a shower.
When I returned to the bedroom after my shower and shave, etc, Imus said (as best as I can recall) these words: "Well...., then this is the worst
attack on America since Pearl Harbor."
I went to the living room and turned on the TV. Both towers of the World Trade Center were on fire.
I continued to get dressed for work while I watched. I don't remember feeling anything then, but I do remember that it didn't seem real. No matter
how many times they re-ran the footage of the second plane hitting the south tower I kept thinking: "I'm watching this happen, yet I still don't
In that time, there were also reports of "an explosion at the Pentagon". But, I was staring at the TV for too long and I had to get to work. I
turned it off, locked up the house and got in the truck. I turned on the radio. In those few minutes that had elapsed, the south tower had
"No," I thought. "That can't happen. There were too many people there. People trying to get out. People who had rushed to the scene.
Thousands of people running in and out and around that tower. It collapsed? On them? No."
It takes me about a half an hour to get to work and, as I approached my destination, and amid news of a crash in Pennsyvania, the north tower had
If you're at all curious to know what I was feeling that morning, I think I can sum it up thusly:
A co-worker of mine and I often talked politics throughout the day. After a couple of hours of silence, she asked, "So, no political discussion
I told her, "Thousands of innocent people are dead. This isn't politics, this is war."
At McSorley's, my and my buddy's favorite hangout, there is a wire that hangs between the hanging lamps above the bar. On that wire rests quite a
few wishbones covered in dust. A very thick coat of dust. I mean, these wishbones are caked in dust!
This is the undisturbed dust of the past 90 years. They were placed there during World War I by local draftees. Each man placed a wishbone on the
wire when he left, and took it down when he came back.
The wishbones that still rest on that wire are the ones that were placed there by those men that never came back.
New York never forgets.
[edit on 9-9-2007 by Tuning Spork]
[edit on 9-9-2007 by Tuning Spork]