“9-11” by Mary Kathryn Burke, NYC

September 11 October 26, 2011 21:04

topic: 9/11 medium: TEXT

as submitted for the “9/11” Open Call

I was praying. In earnest.

The Europeans all do this gap-year thing and I was giving it a whirl.

But I’m a New Yorker who rarely left the island Manhattan. And now here I was on the Emerald Isle—when the Southern tip of my home became a two-wicked candle.

The image on the hostel computer Yahoo! Home-screen at first looked like a trailer for a disaster flick. It was about 2 in the afternoon there.

My parents live all the way up by Gracie Mansion. But what if one had jury duty? What if the other went to J&R? Why does this fucking payphone talk to me in a brogue and tell me that my call cannot be completed as dialed?

Why did I think that Ireland was the right place to be? For a year? At 18 years old?

Remember how our generation lacked gravity? The generation of Monica Lewinsky, OJ Simpson, and the swinging 90s? How I longed for the import of JFK Blown Away What Else Do I Have To Say…flowers in gun-holes…The King…the good ol’ days. I’m not an American, I’M A NEW YORKER.

Well, until the smartass in Temple Bar says something to me about the President I didn’t vote for. Then just tears. And more prayers. And actual fear about nukes? And bringing back the draft? And bio warfare?

A decade later, the gravity is still in the air…somewhere.

The President I did vote for got the guy who started this and shares his name but for a letter. And today I worried about when I was going to have time to get a manicure…on my island…where my parents look a decade older and I am told I should be a decade wiser.

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