I plow the muddy run of a ten year retrospective of life packaged in a box set.
Covered in ash, pungent and flailing. Coughing through headphones
Battling ridiculous drums and bass in a coffee shop in this wretched city.
Not the city of my amorous arrows, not the daily thrill of the sleepless rush via girdered canyons of the behemoth 90 miles north.
The soundtrack has to spurn the words, the words have to come through the sounds.
Listening to the past and comparing it to life below 14th street
before a September morning that nudged the behemoth into a slumber of sadness.
Screwing zip screws into aluminum on a Guggenheim ramp, spiraled in angles, cacophony of hammer hits.
Rob the foreman whirling up the ramp in a blur of lanky, work belt red hair, protruding Adam's apple undulating
out the words.."Guysaplanejusthittheworldtradecenter".
Hammer stall, elders kept pounding having heard it all in Gotham within rent controlled tenement bubbles while they etch away at unseen art for a quarter century.
But the others pause, heads cocked like spaniels spying squirrels, huh,really? Rob careens up the ramp again repeating the phrase but adding "another" to the sequence. Terrorism. Silence. Echoes on marble. Work boots scatter bursting out the fifth avenue entrance on museum row. Straight sight shot to the rising tendrils of smokedustash 80blocks away.
Collapse. Chaos. Traffic subtle screech. Taxi clustered in capillaries.Cloud spreads shadows through the keyhole of the viewed valley of high rise.
Suddenly. Art doesn't matter. Tools left in a trail of chaos. Some have loved ones downtown and blitz the subways in vain. Down to the Guggenheim basement, viewing helicopter video of one trade center events. Tower down. Stick figures waving white flags from 90 stories up. Then screen falls out, no its the other tower, dropping from view, smoke swallowing widows, glass, concrete, people. Firemen climbing thousands of stairs elevator cables melted through, can't...reach..every...one. Won't return.
Everything stops. hearts bleed like syrup. nothing pumps. Air fails to move. Thousands on Fifth avenue. Blind rats in a shut down maze. Got to get to where I need to be. Walking in a cauldron of tears, stunned silence, anxious, hurried. Subways down. We walk so many blocks to the Queensboro bridge. Looks like a marathon photo. No cars, no horns bleating or rush of truck wheel..50 thousand souls walking blindly into Queens, then Brooklyn, like a melting pot of bleached out zombies to destinations, comfort, huddles of struggle.
Sitting in my apartment on Broadway in Williamsburg, steady flow of CNN, repeated videos, stories trickling in, statements from Bush/Guiliani, Osama finally chimes in from a dirt hole of a mansion somewhere claiming responsibility. His bullseyed face on the Post in the morning. We learn the scope, the pentagon, flight 93....the other half to this fearsome foursome. We rush to war rooms while families start posting fliers on every square inch of flat open surface in lower Manhattan over the next few days, pixilated faces of the disappeared....then, that smell...permeating..like burnt rubber, dust and gasoline...flakes of ash fall for days, Union Square a shrine of questions, pictures, candles sequestered on the front line of 14th street beyond and south quarantined, caution tape, cones and cops.
Why. it is always Why? The mix of a " death to infidels" battle cry from religious extremists, the symbols of the center of the financial universe, in a boastful 102 story stance for all to see , the perpetual superpower meddling in everyone's everything. The oil, the greed, the power, the money, the religion, the death, the hatred.
Not much has changed. There will always be greed, power, hatred, religion and FEAR.
We're building another.
Taller. Stronger. So full of determination, pride. Millions overbudget. Raise the tolls to pay for it. Responders dying from cancerous dust 10 years on. Never properly equipped for safety. Financial crisis of the century. Nobody responsible ever prosecuted. Bail outs. Tea parties. Stalemates. Death of the middle class. Foreclosures. And two parties that hate each other so much that a red/blue civil war is imminent. People building militias in their back yards. Middle management men working on landscaping crews. Racial/religious tension at an all time high. Two new wars that did nothing but cost billions and raise oil prices. Thousands more soldiers dead than the number of civilians that initially perished that day. Thousands of innocent civilians dead in countries of war.
Let's build it higher.