Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Remembering 9/11

 This photo was taken in Little Italy in 1998. I was visiting my friend, Robert Carioscia's artist's loft and he decided to get his camera and then he asked me to pose by the window facing the south with the World Trade Center's Twin Towers in the distance. On that beautiful sunny September day, one would never have imagined that in less than five years they buildings would be gone, and life as we knew it would also be forever gone, innocence lost and a painful hole left in its wake. 


Sometimes I think of my friend, Brigitte, from Vienna who stayed with me in my Greenwich Village apartment in the eighties and how she called the World Trade Center "the two fingers." She said she loved them. They were so very modern, so very American, so ostentatious, so sure of themselves. I worked in the World Trade Center for a while. 


I remember riding up the elevator to one of the top floors and my heart pounding as my ears popped. I remember celebrating my 26th birthday at the Windows on the World and I remember buying a faux black alligator briefcase in the bottom of the building where there were lots of elegant shops to tempt you before you descended further into subway. I was a temp secretary at Salomon Brothers and I actually met Michael Blumberg there, when he was rather young and brash. The Wall Street guys were all a bit brash, but they were fun, and so full of energy and drive. I was young and artsy and spent more time than I should have secretly writing poetry and stories when I should have been typing up letters and filing cost analysis reports. 


I still remember the Friday lunches with the other secretaries--all young women, like me, who were dreaming of a different sort of life--some wanted to be actresses, dancers, some were going for their MBA or MFA. And some wanted to be novelists. We always went out for Chinese, sat around a big table, shared plates of egg rolls and moo shoo gai pork. We drank fruity cocktails with little straws and paper umbrellas perched in a sliced orange and a maraschino cherry. Eventually somewhere close to 2 p.m. we teetered in our high heels and swayed out of the restaurant, making our way up the winding streets of lower Manhattan back up to the World Trade Center, up the elevator, tipsy and laughing, and happy, because it was Friday and everyone understood that that no real work was going to get done in the last few hours of the day and so we felt free and happy, looking forward to a weekend of fun. 


And now, here we are in 2019 and I think about those days and how it all went up in smoke and I feel for everyone who lost their innocence in 2001 and most of all for all the brave rescue workers and their familes who lost so much more. My prayers are with you, today and always.


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