Friday, September 10, 2004

A few random, personal thoughts about 9/11:

I'm so glad it's on a weekend this year I get so overwhelmed, it's hard for me to be in the office. I'd rather be with family. But I don't want it to become a national holiday. If it turns into another Memorial Day, it could lead to more beer-guzzling barbecues and 24-hour department store sales.

I was working at another boring job at the time -- a very cold corporate type of office. When I came back to work on September 12th, everyone was business-as-usual. No discussion about it, nobody taking stock of the situation, just everyone shuffling papers and making calls. The receptionist greeted me with a perky "Good morning!", exactly as she had done on September 10th. Maybe it affected them differently, in ways that weren't apparent, but I just couldn't work at a place like that. I quit at the end of the week.

My dad was one of the subcontractors on the World Trade Center. I always felt a little sense of family pride seeing the Twin Towers. If you were downtown, you could look up and use them like the Northern Star, to get your bearings. I went back a year later, and the emptiness in the skyline at Ground Zero was disconcerting, chilling.

My cousin, the artist, was living in the Lower East Side at the time. He later told me that once, while welding some copper for a sculpture project, he had to stop abruptly. The smell of burning metal reminded him too much of the air in New York City that day.


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