Thursday, September 11, 2008


The day started on the 10th. It was hot and muggy in the mountains and even worse in the city. I'd been working sporadically for Strasser and Assoc. on a job in the East 70's. But on that Monday I didn't work. Instead I got a haircut, shaved and drove to the Lower East Side to meet a woman I hadn't seen since June. We had recently gotten back in touch over the phone and had decided to do a face to face. To no one's surprise, let me just say, it was complicated.
Just as I crested Wurtsboro mountain I saw papers fluttering across the highway and knew something was wrong. Then I saw a flipped over car, the tires still spinning. In the middle of the road lay a man, face down on the pavement. I pulled over and ran to the man. Recently I had become a hunting guide and had first aid training. I put my fingers to his neck and swore I felt a pulse. A Hassidic man in an orange vest, who by now was standing over my shoulder, shook his head grimly. "That's your own heartbeat you feel." he said, and took over. I got back in my car and continued my drive to Manhattan, like nothing had happened.
The storms hit Ave. C as the woman and I walked and talked, ducking in doorways to escape the deluge. I could see the lightning flashes reflected in her eyes. I said my piece and she said hers. It seemed like we were resolving things, but we both knew better. We were just rippping off bandages and digging at partially healed wounds. As the thunderstorms rolled across lower Manhattan, bringing in a starry night sky, I got back in the Neon and headed north. I was supposed to work back in the city, in the morning, but when I arrived home at 4am I knew that wasn't going to happen. The phone woke me just before 9AM. It was my old man calling from Wolf Lake. He was watching the news. The second plane hit as we were on the phone.
Since I didn't have a TV at the time, I spent the rest of that day at Wolf Lake watching TV. Outside the sky was blue and the birds were chirping. I was only 80 miles away. It could've been a milllion. In the 7 years since that day I, for a time, moved back to Brooklyn, went to Cuba, bought a new Neon, went broke, sold some property, moved out of Brooklyn, bought some more property, quit Strasser, drove to Mexico, got a TV, tried every anti-drepressant on the market and after nothing worked, I finally cured myself. I saw that woman one more time, two weeks after 9/11. I had Ground Zero dust on my boots, after a walk down to pay my respects. She was high on heroin. That was the last time I saw her. She died of a heart attack on her bathroom floor less that a year ago. She was 39.

My life now is so much better than it was then. Shewho and I are very happy together. I'm no longer depressed. The relationship I have with her spans over 20 years and I can say with all honesty that the love we feel for each other is strong and mutual. Yeah, it's also complicated. But what else is new? Comparitively speaking I wasn't really effected by the terrorist attack on 9/11/2001. (It fucked up my TV reception in Brooklyn). But when this date rolls around every year I can't help but remember.


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