Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Like many people, I’m certain, I dread the 9/11 anniversary. 
Several years ago I posted the reminiscence included below in a piece called Some Places I Would Like To Revisit, But Can't, which summarizes things that happened to us that day and tries to relate them to feelings I had concerning the World Trade Center buildings and site. 
Obviously it’s an incomplete account.  To fill in its spaces adequately, I would need to describe the lapses and voids the 9/11 events opened in me and showed me existed around me. 
The moorings all slipped that day.
People familiar with our prior kidnapping in Mexico tend to assume that was the crux event you don’t come back from, but they’re mistaken. 
The kidnapping actually revealed to me some unrecognized strengths I possessed (more apparent in the aftermath period than during the abduction itself; while the crime was in extended progress, Caroline was the indomitable lioness).
9/11 was like the day my brother was killed in 1970.  Everything was smashed to atoms. 
And like a nuclear event, all that remained, it seemed, were and are cockroaches shifting and scuttling.


   From:  Some Places I Would Like To Revisit, But Can't.

   Like most New Yorkers, I always had mixed feelings about the World Trade Center.  Tall buildings are cool and impressive and, although the WTC’s architecture wasn’t a patch on the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, the Flatiron Building or the other buildings New Yorkers really love, the place was spectacularly tall.  Attending business meetings at WTC was always an incredible hassle, both in terms of getting downtown and the security that was (necessarily) put into place after the first World Trade Center bombing in the mid-1990s (the “Blind Sheikh” attack), and the subway was more than your usual nightmare. (Too many lines running, too many people going too many places.)   

However, on a personal level, I remember a fancy party my parents gave for my grandparents at Windows On The World in honor of a big wedding anniversary that seemed to mean a lot to the people who attended.  I remember having cocktails in the bar with Caroline and other friends and, especially taking Caroline’s mother there for drinks at sunset, which she enjoyed immensely.  The view was really incomparable – much better than from the John Hancock in Chicago or One Liberty Place in Philadelphia, for instance. I remember especially a wonderful celebration dinner Caroline and I enjoyed at Cellar In The Sky, Windows’ “oenophile prix-fixe restaurant” and an amusing  business dinner a long time ago where Caroline entertained Tim White and Chuck Young, then young journalists from Musician magazine, who were good dinner companions.  

Psychotic al-Queda terrorists attacked the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, destroying the Twin Towers and some nearby buildings and killing thousands of helpless, innocent victims.  It was a beautiful late summer Tuesday morning and we were returning to work from a weekend at the beach in Avalon, New Jersey.  About 1000 feet before the George Washington Bridge toll booth, they stopped our car and we saw a new illuminated bridge sign saying “Bridge Closed”.  That sounded crazy (it translates as "New York City Closed"),  but we turned on the radio and soon figured out what was happening.  When we arrived home about four hours later (they had to literally turn around the highways leading into Manhattan), the two Brazilian women who were taking care of Jane greeted us with some shock and disbelief.  They were under the impression that World War III had broken out and thought we were as likely dead as alive.    

Obviously, since that day, nothing has been quite the same.


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