maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets. -arthur miller


Four More Years

Today I wish that I was in New York.

It's Sunday and there are brunches to eat and books to read and last night to disucss, and all I can do is look up at the pale blue sky and wish that I wasn't the only one in the room feeling like this. On the first anniversary I was at home in the city, and there was no doubt of what the day meant. Year two, I was a freshman in college, sitting in my religion 101 class between 8:30 and 10 AM, watching the minutes pass by on my watch, ticking off the events in my mind.

8:45. First tower hit.
9:03. Second.

So now it's four years on, and I sit here at my computer, and I'm sort of nauseous and fidgety. I don't know what I expect on this day. I don't know what to do. I still hate most memorials, most things people write about it. I loved something I read once about the FDNY football team in Sports Illustrated, and an essay by Colson Whitehead (later published as the first chapter of The Colossus of New York), and this, and the Portraits of Grief that became daily reading for those first few months.

Mostly I like things by New Yorkers, other people who on September 12th came out of the video store and thought something else had happened because of the smell, but no, the winds had changed and were blowing things uptown and that's what the smell was, and oh god I haven't watched the news in half an hour what if something else is happening?

I wish that I could walk by my neighborhood firehouse today with the permanent memorial to the nine guys that didn't make it out of the fire that they ran in to. It's comforting knowing that if there are people on this earth who will crash airplanes into buildings there are also people who will run straight in to fires to pull people out.

I have nothing particularly eloquent to say, no conclusions or realizations today. But here we are, four years later, another mayoral primary in the city, another early fall day with a bright blue sky.

I wish I was there, is all.


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