I lived in Jersey City in 2001. The morning of September 11th, I watched the towers fall from my girlfriend’s window.
A friend who lived in the apartment building with me wrote this and sent it to me. Thanks Laura.
I planned to ignore this day. Somehow thought if I just went to work, didn’t think about it, shouldn’t think about it, I could escape an artificial point in time. I mean it’s just a date, right? Just another Manhattan Melodrama. One the media and politicians are hyping, just a point on the calendar no different from any other. Ha. On. Me.
Walking to the A train I can’t help but look more carefully into the faces I pass. Do they feel more today? Are they afraid? Are they aware? I’m fine, I’m fine, I’m fine, I’m fine, it’s just another Sunday.
Then, in the station, a God Damn violinist. On the dirty platform, echoing along the blocks. It’s beautiful, it’s poignant, it’s tragic, it’s hopeful. I avoid other faces and dig my nails in between my fingers to stop the tears. Tentative glances show me I’m not alone. In fact, we were all connected by the music. Listening, remembering, feeling, praying.
This tender melody, these eyes I dare look into, erase the years and make it all real again. And I realize, every day is an act of faith. Getting on the subway, sending our kids to school, worrying about our jobs, loving, caring. It’s faith that we’ll get there safely, that those we love will be taken care of by others, that there will indeed be a tomorrow to worry about, that anything we do actually matters in some small way. Not blind faith where you go off and do something reckless, but faith still. That our government and neighbors will do the right thing, that hope is worth fighting for, that there is more good than evil, that life will get better.
When the option is despair, I chose faith. Still…….every time I leave the apartment I think – could I run in these shoes? So I strap on my sneakers and go out the door. I Thank God I have the chance. And honor those who don’t, by remembering .
Ps: Yes I gave her money — she probably made $100 bucks in ten minutes. Best concert ever. In my subway church.