I just saw a trailer for the new 9/11 movie with Nicholas Cage in it… and for the 30 seconds that it caught my attention, I had a reaction that I didn’t think I’d have. Hand over mouth. Head shaking. Feeling my heart sink at all the parts that I remember so distinctly. The zoom of the planes. The billowing smoke from teh top of the buildings. The ash-snow falling and covering everything downtown. Sometimes I wonder if I have the right to feel so strongly. Having experienced it all through the tv, because I was lucky enough to be too late to actually catch a train into the city. But sitting there and watching it all being fed to me through NY1… the various accounts of people who were downstairs talking to reporters as it was going on and they didn’t have a chance to filter the information that was coming through. One account is indelible. An EMT came down from the towers trying to help evacuate people and told of one person who’s skin was burned off and this person was apparantly in shock, still walking around… I know how vivid my memory / imagination is. But to be that EMT worker, if God-willing, he made it out of there alive… probably still wakes up with that image on his eyelids. That and countless others.
I’ll never forget somethings that happened during the course of that experience – the ever lingering stench of burning wafting so far from the city that it covered Brooklyn and Queens and i’m sure Northern Jersey. The shock of my building’s reaction when there was a vigil called that night and someone pulled out a full sized American flag to drape on our fence. (This from the same folks who will party up and down Roosevelt Ave. shouting their nationality during soccer games won and lost – Columbia, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Brazil). The unstoppable empathy I felt feeling scared and sad for those that were on the plane and how they had exactly no time at all to come to terms with what was about to happen to them. The dull cold rain on the Thursday after when I emerged from the train on my way to work (right – cause they told us that if we stayed home, that would have been the terrorists winning), looking down the corridor of 7th avenue and an unnnatural light was shining at the end now because the towers used to block it (I’m STILL not used to it). The innumerable nightmares of planes crashing into my apt. building; of planes just falling out of the sky above me.
And I just was wondering … when does that wound stop feeling so raw?