I don’t really want to write right now, but I’m in such a state of shock that if I don’t do something I’ll curl up into a ball and cry myself into a mental institution. When I started this site I made a promise to myself that I would never give out personal information. I felt that it wasn’t important who I was or where I lived because no one would ever care. I didn’t think my identity would ever be important to my readership because on the Internet, it doesn’t matter where you live or who you are because your words can reach a global audience. It doesn’t matter to me where other web loggers live or who they are and I didn’t think they would really care to know about me. I wasn’t looking for an online relationship, I didn’t need any online stalkers and I didn’t want to be afraid that someone out there might come after me or my family or friends if they ever became offended by what I wrote.
In short, I just wanted to be able to write funny things that would make other people laugh while keeping my anonymity.
But what has happened today changes everything.
The city where I have lived my entire life is in shambles. This city, MY city, has lost two of its most impressive, memorable and significant landmarks by a cowardly act of terrorism. The most photographed skyline in the world will forevermore be bereft of two of its most strikingly familiar buildings. New York, New York, the city so nice they named it twice and the apple of my eye, will never be the same again.
For a reason unknown to me, I awoke this morning at 6:45 and was unable to get back to sleep. I decided to get up and turn on the TV so I could watch CNBC’s pre-market show. At 8:45, just as I was beginning to be lulled back to sleep by the banter between Joe, Mark and David, they interrupted the broadcast to report that an airplane had just plowed into the north tower of the World Trade Center. Just 18 minutes later, during the live broadcast of the ongoing fire at the tower, another jet airplane slammed into the south tower. Less than two hours after these surreal events transpired, the World Trade Center and famous Twin Towers of the financial capital of the world had crumbled to the earth.
I’ll never be able to bring my future kids to the observation deck and look out over the city with them. My kids might not even believe they ever existed there at all.
As they collapsed, the buildings belched forth smoke, soot and flames like some proud, ancient dragon writhing in the pain of its death throes. Some people who were trapped in the building and faced with a nightmarish choice of horrific proportions, chose to leap to their death rather than burn in the flames that were engulfing the towers. Firefighters, police and emergency workers were forced to look on in hopeless agony as these once proud monoliths of architectural prowess fell to the earth in a slow-motion avalanche of glass, concrete and steel.
I watched in horrified disbelief, as this impossible nightmare became a CNN reality. Looking out my window, I could actually see the dust and soot cloud stretching out in the early morning sky.
I used to work on Wall Street, just two short blocks from where the towers once stood. I find myself wondering now if the building whose elevator I used to curse for being so slow is still there. Although I no longer keep in touch with the people I used to know at that office, and for the life of me I don’t think I could name more than three that I ever actually liked, I’m sure that at least a few of them were there today. I can only hope that everyone made it out before the sky crashed down, but I don’t know if any of them would recognize me if I passed them on the street. I feel relief when I realize that no one in my family or any of my current friend’s work or live near there. I’m thankful that they are all safe and accounted for.
Should I be ashamed that I’m so thankful because I don’t know anyone who works in the financial district anymore? Should I really be so happy that no one I personally know has been killed?
My first thought this morning was to call my girlfriend. She lives less than 40 blocks (about 2 miles) from the Towers and I wanted to make sure she was ok. She was a little scared and wanted to be with me and all I wanted to do was hold her and tell her that it was going to be ok. Thankfully, she’s just fine but I can only offer her comfort through my words over the phone since I can’t get to her today. Due to the nature of this tragedy, there is no transportation right now between Brooklyn and Manhattan so I can’t get into the city to see her and she can’t come to me.
(as an update, the trains are working now so we’ll soon be together again)
Just this weekend, the Sunday Times had a special in the Real Estate section about new apartments going up for sale in the financial district and we were thinking of moving there. Now, I don’t think there’s much of a financial area left to move to. Isn’t that just like a New Yorker? Tragedy strikes and I start thinking about real estate. Pathetic.
I am sickened. I am angry. I am frightened. And right now, nothing seems very funny.
Send your good thoughts to all those who need it. Right now, I’m going out to give some blood that I hope and pray will save somebody’s life.
Goodbye for a while. I’ll be away until I can find humor again. I hope that I find it soon.