I was on my way to work when my friend called to say I should probably not get on the train because there had been some kind of accident in lower
Manhattan. Shortly after the second plane hit and we all knew better. It was visible from the roof of my building.
For at least a week, when I walked to work, the place where I used to the see the towers every day in the skyline was full instead of columns of thick
black smoke. After that morning, there were men in camouflage holding rifles in the train stations. They stayed for a long time.
I spent many hours of my life at a place that no longer exists. I happened to like it very much. The escalator from the trains to the shops was so
tall, so dramatic, that I used to choose particular songs to play on my walkman when I ascended, just for the atmosphere of it. There was a Borders
where I used to have coffee with my brother, and we'd go sit outside and watch rich people and smoke at them. I met Eric Bogosian there, and told him
I love his playwriting. And years before, the first time I visited the city, I have a very clear memory of being aware that it had been bombed before,
and thinking of how big and solid it seemed -- how untouchable.
I was watching when they fell. I can't describe or explain what it was like, how people who lived there reacted in that moment, except that it was
surely the most profoundly shocking thing any of us had ever seen. It seemed impossible, unthinkable, totally overwhelming. We all just lost our
minds. I remember saying it's gone, it's just gone. It's just...gone. Even after the second strike, we just never thought that would happen, until it
did, and then again. Nobody understood anything. So many crazy reports were coming in, it felt like the end of the world.
I've been back, finally, and it's like I can't recognize it at all. I can't make it map up with what I remember.
I did not lose anyone. We couldn't find one friend who worked there for a bit, but it turned out he had overslept and not gone in that day.
edit on 3-5-2011 by sepermeru because: edit button is my best friend