“9/11” by Illinois Payson, NYC

September 11 February 4, 2012 12:18

topic: 9/11 medium: TEXT

as submitted for the “9/11” Open Call

A 9/11 Piece After, similar words hung in the mouths of talkers. Each one like the others’ testimony; the day was uniquely bright and clear. My life had already turned partially, I had been waking earlier and was freshly married in Washington Heights, NYC. But the changes were more experiential than fundamental. My wife took a position as a lab technician. I was a fifth year undergrad and we hadn’t ‘lost the TV’ yet, which was on in the background. I paced, generally and did so that morning.

A plane hit the WTC. The TV was white noise then suddenly i was thinking on how you hit the WTC in a plane. A helicopter? A small plane? Glitches? An array of intriguing circumstances? My wife soon called she’d heard too of the plane. She’s looking at the smoke from the plane of the GW bridge. The second. The sudden knowledge of an attack, war. Here, at home. On the phone as a quiet burs! t of digital images informed me of an, the imminent collapse. Then a second. My wife didn’t return until the bridge reopened. My brother had recently moved to the village where the events unfolded before him on his rooftop. My songwriting partner’s sister had just moved to Tribeca she had it worse than me.

Those people in the towers on that day, in those moments they shared the worst. Amongst them, in their solitude, the individual’s suffering is concealed from our perch. Four months later the wife and I were driving to D.C., hired by a think tank on foreign policy. Practically my life changed. We spent the next seven or eight months in a groove. But, like the country, we returned to a previous model, it wasn’t for us. Still though, that morning was virtually a real loud slap across the proverbial face and I tossed my copy of ‘Lies My Teacher Told Me.’ Perfection is what we work towards, not what we find. G-d bless the U.S.A., more. I didn’t join the arm! y but the natural patriotism of my youth was invigorated and u! until today i feel blessed to have been born where and how I was. A rise in commodified patriotism occurred but contention and hurt broke us down. We are having a difficult time resolving our Union and the tidal forces arrive rhetorically.

A cultural norm today, where any flash of inspiration is quickly set into a context bin and distributed into oblivion. I too failed to act as a union and today am divorced, looking back at both the distant storied past of our nation and my ex-life, stung for lacking gratitude. Maugham’s Sophie from The Razor’s Edge came to mind. Many stories we associate with reflect to us the heroic. The others, quieted affairs, likely lay in the hearts of most hearing of myth but dying silent, obscured in the swirl of dust with sleepy, dreaming eyes.

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