Monday, September 11, 2006

On this day, in this city

5 years ago, a few miles south of where I am now but really everywhere.

By a fluke of timing, I was upstate and asleep when the first plane hit.
I went down to the kitchen around 9 and I found my cell-phone filled with some 25 text messages. All the same and from an ex-boyfriend now in Tokyo:

Court - are you okay. Call or email.

(That’s how I knew to turn on the TV.)

I was fine, my family too - my mother well north of ground zero and my step-father still further.
That afternoon I found at Cintra was also okay - poised to see but thank god not to be hurt.

The world checked in and here we counted heads, then blessings and fell in love with our firefighters. And listened for planes.

I took the train to the city the morning of the 12th. I wonder now at how easy that was. And then walked from Penn to Union Square, down Park and deeper into the smell of burning.

A friend lost a brother in the towers, and as a city we lost an unthinkable sum of people and parts and pieces and innocence. Now we had a before and an after and, along with America but more fully, we’d discovered a gaping vulnerability that’d exposed us wide.

Arrived at JFK so late last night (from LA), having spent 15 minutes cloistered while security scrutinized a glue stick in my purse, waiting for tiny luggage checked on behalf of decent grooming - I'm sorry for us all and the madness that's been wrought not only by the terrorists but by our own hands, and government, and the confusion that’s followed.

And with all that sorry?

5 years ago my mother and sister were both alive. Mom safe in her office just north of Grand Central, not yet diagnosed with ALS but somehow, and already, more vulnerable to the attacks than the rest of us.

And Linds, Hudson not yet a glimmer and Chad not yet husband, safe in school in Austin.

No matter whether the hit was direct, glancing, refracted – no one’s world’s still the same.

C - peace

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