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my glamorous life

episodes & recollections

#55 day four

Last night she could not stop crying.

I said, "Baby, baby, baby, it’s all right."

Who was I kidding?

The city feels jet-lagged. The shock is wearing off.

The mood here is solemn. Not angry. Not frightened—though those feelings do sneak up at odd moments.

In the corner of your eye, the cloud from a steam pipe on Irving looks like another building burning. You wince when you hear a jet–then remember it’s one of ours.

You are grateful for Rudy. You find yourself digging Schwarzkopf. The older and tougher he looks, the better you like him.

Tonight we attended a candlelight vigil at Union Square.

People were singing "My Country ’Tis of Thee."

I was singing with them.

I have not sung a patriotic song since I was eight years old.

Tonight, for the first time since Tuesday, we were permitted to cross 14th Street.

It was simple. Like any normal night in any normal town.

Having crossed, we kept walking south. We walked and walked–reassuring ourselves that our city was still standing.

Everywhere, there were candles burning.

Everywhere, photocopied posters of the missing.

When we finally returned home, my eyes and throat hurt. Presumably from the stuff in the air.

Nobody can kill our spirit, but our systems have been crippled.

I’ve had two hours of Internet connectivity this week. Long distance does not seem to work.

Yet nobody is complaining. Nobody is hoarding. Nobody is running or hiding.

Things that once seemed important have receded into the background. Like everyone else, I grieve, and worry, and try to steel myself for what comes next.

In my dreams I am lost and wandering.

14 September 2001

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