I know I haven't posted something on here in a while. No time, lost some motivation, etc. Below i've re-posted a segment of a story I wrote last year. I've told certain people on here that as I wrote it, I kind of zoned out and next thing i knew, it was done. I remember thinking it was too long, but I left it in anyway. If you do read this and it makes you feel sad, good. Because it should. If you do read it and it makes you angry, good. Because it should.
By the way, it came from the story "Welcome to New York"
Anyway, here it is. Thanks for reading my stuff in the past, but mostly, never forget what happened Nine years ago.
He could smell her perfume, and her hair. With the sun setting over the harbor and the lights in the towers on both sides of the Hudson River coming on, well, it couldn't have been more perfect. Six minutes later they were directly in front of the Statue. She looked magnificent. The lights on her base made the green copper of her skin seem almost touchable from the boat. He looked down at Trish. She was mesmerized by the sight of the "Lady". How many times had she seen the pictures of her? And now she was staring up at her. She never took her eyes off of it until they were almost at the slip in Staten Island. They disembarked and went around the terminal and got back on.
"I never understood why they make you do that." Joe said. "Must be for security reasons I guess. When I was a kid, they let you stay on for the ride back."
Now, from the front of the ferry, you could see lower Manhattan all lit up now. It was late dusk and while the sky was still lit, it was darkening by the minute. By the time they made the twenty minute ride back across it would be dark. Again, all the way back, Trish stood at the rail looking at the Statue, now even more spectacular at night. The island she sat on itself, completely lit in the dark harbor evening. She moved closer to Joe as the cool of the evening and the wind of ferry moving forward started to chill her in earnest. Once past Liberty Island, she turned her attention to the skyline growing and beginning to tower over them by the second. The ferry made its approach and docked perfectly between the wooden piers. The crew hooked up the cables that secured it to the City and opened the gates so they could disembark into lower Manhattan.
"Ground Zero is a few blocks north but it's a nice walk up Broadway, besides, we can talk a little more."
They headed up Broadway and she took his hand in hers, only it was more than just a hand. She leaned into him and their arms interlocked into each other. They spoke about all of the things that people in guarded conversations talk about. Skimming over the top of subjects without talking through them. He made her laugh and she made him laugh. He felt that his face actually hurt from smiling. It dawned on him that he'd been smiling almost all day, since he picked her up at the airport. They walked past the bronze bull that she'd seen a million times in movies and ads. They stood and laughed as the Japanese tourists took turns taking each other's picture cupping the huge bull's, huge brass balls that hung under its rear. As they approached City Hall, she noticed that Joe's steps were not as long and confident as they had been all day. As they neared the corner of Liberty St., she realized he was almost forcing himself to move forward. She looked up at his face, he'd stopped talking completely and he had a stare on his face, sort of seeing something that wasn't there. They turned left and she immediately realized that they were approaching a huge void in the sky. The surrounding buildings all towered over this void. She spotted the two green topped buildings she'd seen in the thousands of pictures that were everywhere after 9/11. The void was blinding, if that was possible. It was so evident to her that something was supposed to be there and wasn't. Joe's steps were now small, almost reverend. They stopped and stood on the south east corner of where, once, the towers stood. He was pleased to see the steel of the new Freedom Tower had finally cleared "the pit" and was now climbing out and up over the street. He hated coming here and yet felt compelled to. His job took him by here at least several times a week. And every time, the feelings of that one day just drilled into his marrow. She realized what and why he was acting the way he was.
"Joe? Where were you that day?"
He pointed across the river towards New Jersey. "I was over in Jersey City," he replied in a low voice, " I didn't see the first plane come in," he gestured north. " I was with customers, and their employees came in and told us that something happened over in the towers. By the time we got outside and looked up the north tower was burning pretty good." His voice was now flat and he was speaking in an emotionless tone. Not at all what it had been all day, and up to only a few minutes ago.
"We were standing out in the parking lot, and we didn't realize at first that what we saw falling were people. Then it dawned on us, and it was like all our breath was being sucked out and pulled toward the towers. I never did see the other plane come in. It came in from the south, right over the ferry route we took on the way back. I just saw the explosion and fire erupt from all sides of the South Tower. Funny thing, I could hear people, women actually, screaming and crying around me, but it seemed like ten seconds before I heard the engines and the sound of the plane hitting the building. We all felt so fucking helpless. I was so incensed by what I just saw, it was obvious that these were no accidents. Someone flew those fucking planes into the buildings to kill us." She could see, eight years later, it was still an emotionally raw thing to him. She figured that anyone around here on that day could still fill with rage and anger at the fear they felt that day. The utter anger at being so helpless to do anything, is what raged in Joe still.
She watched him put his head down and force the bad feeling out of himself. He grabbed her hand and they walked north to St. Paul's Chapel, which was directly across Church St. from the two towers. He explained to her that, in spite of two, hundred and ten story buildings falling around it, not a single window in the old church even cracked. And how they brought the first bodies they found to the chapel for identification. They walked around the inside of the old church and on the way out there was a memorial set up to the fallen first responders that were killed that day. It was so very simple, other fire and police personnel from all over the country and world, feeling compelled to be there, left their uniform patches in a pile. There was no order or system. They just walked up to it and left the patch on top of the pile that was higher every time Joe visited the chapel over the years. To Joe, it was probably the most fitting tribute to them that he'd seen since that day. Ironically, and maybe by design, the patches took on the look of the pile of twisted steel that jutted up and around the four square blocks for months after the attacks. The pile of steel grew smaller and smaller until only the foundation walls and floor were left. While the pile of patches grew higher and higher.
They walked out of the chapel and over to City Hall where she recognized the several court buildings that she'd seen in various shows filmed in and around the City. They entered the subway for the trip back uptown to her hotel. She noticed he was his old self, again. Cracking jokes and looking directly into her eyes, again. So deeply into her eyes that she felt he was looking at her clitoris. She like that he was back, she felt safe, again, and snuggled up to him as they sat in the subway car.
take care of yourselves.