Monday, September 11, 2006

Five Years and A Day

(Hold your breath for this.)

I wasn't going to write about 9/11 because the media coverage is so maudlin and redundant it takes away most of the meaning the day had to me.
But then I reflected on the fact that I write this blog mainly to archive whatever bullshit is floating through my head, so I figured I would put this out there so when the 50th anniversary comes around I could check what was popping back in the early 2000's in case I have amnesia or anything like that.

To many New Yorkers, the World Trade Center was just another tourist building that New Yorkers flout to out-of-towners as a symbol of the city's greatness while secretly they've never really been inside.
I went to school right next door to the damn building for 4 years and I only passed underneath it to go shopping once, I think.

In September 2001, as I did every September, I ditched the first few weeks of college because it was always more interesting to see how much school I could miss before going back and still pass all my classes.

While delaying my return to the University of Michigan, I loafed around NY and I was sent by my father to pay a bill in a bank in the World Trade Center on Tuesday, September 11, 2001.
And he told me to go early...

Being the lazy teenager I was back then I left the house late and while riding the 2 train to Manhattan I decided to get off right before the train goes under the Brooklyn Bridge and near the WTC area.

I got out at Nevins St. stop near Long Island University, home to some of the sexiest Russian women outside of a mail order catalog, and I saw a group of people gathered around pointing and staring at a trail of smoke coming from Manhattan.

"A plane hit the Word Trade Center."

I said "Planes don't fly over Manhattan, that shit is weird."

Then someone said "I heard another plane hit the building."

I said to myself, "Oh hell no, it's going down."

And I realized I wasn't going to the bank.

With fam working at nearby LIU, I could get in and out of that campus as I pleased, and I decided to take advantage of their library computers and see what was really popping off.

No matter how old they are or what the cause is, people are always happy to hear that classes are cancelled. Negroes were breaking out of LIU like they freed the slaves and I was the one fool trying to get in.
Looking at a few news sites I saw that planes were dropping in D.C. and in random cornfields in Pennsylvania and I knew the world was over.

Americans have the historic luxury of not knowing what it is like to attacked frequently on its own soil. That bubble of comfort that we are given as Americans made a hell of a pop that morning.

I knew nobody was going to bomb LIU but it was time to go the fuck home.
I was not going back underground with the chaos called the MTA to be crushed by some Die Hard type exploding trains or getting on a crowded bus filled with scared West Indians so I decided to walk from the Brooklyn Bridge back to my house.

Knowing the level of obsession I was about to start absorbing and researching what went on, I hit up my best friend from elementary school.
You know the dude, the cat who was your ace back in the days when we were hollering at chicks who didn't even have breasts yet, but sadly his interests haven't really developed since then.

I knew he wouldn't care what was popping off and was completely isolated from things outside of his block. Not surprisingly, he wasn't doing shit and I went by his crib and we played Street Fighter Alpha 2 (the greatest video game ever) for the rest of the afternoon. I needed that shit.

I haven't talked to him since.

With no cellphones working my parents finally got in contact with me to see if I got caught in the bank set-up my dad tried to catch me in. I was alive.

I went home and zombied off in front of the TV. You know shit is bad when you actually watch all of a Bush Presidential Address.

Then the talk of a Bin Laden started up.
"Oh hell nah, we gotta get that nigga quick fast."

I went to Ground Zero on September 12 and that shit was a mess.
The smell of burnt flesh was thick and sickening and people were walking around as far from alive as you could get and still be called a survivor.
You could see the air.
I tried my hardest not to breathe and I got as close as I could without getting hemmed up by the National Guard chilling on every block with their AK's on their hip.
You don't need my pictures to know what it looked like. Everyone has seen it by now.
It was hard to look at what your eyes were showing and fully comprehend that sense of loss.
The idea of a building that fucking massive and symbolic being reduced to a pile of debris and all the lives inside being reduced to a bad smell was too much.

With no blood needed because everyone was dead, and George Bush telling Americans to go shop, I had an the early realization that this event would be doubly tragic because there would be nothing Americans could easily do to change or help other than to read the news more often and "support the troops."

Now Ground Zero has devolved into a real estate/dick measuring contest as well as a circus for whatever Republican needs to scare folks into a re-election and ABC is showing fictional 9/11 movies blaming Bill Clinton for everything that happened only two months before the November elections.

The 9/11 Commission Report, which you should at least read some of, has its own gaps and thus conspiracy theorists now blame 9/11 on the Jews and Bush and everyone else but crazy ass Muslims for 9/11.
9/11 has been violated so many times, I don't even know what it means or what it supposed to even mean.

Internationally, a lot has happened since that day as well,

  • The iPod was released around the time when we invaded Afghanistan.
  • We destroyed the Taliban and made Afghanistan somewhat safer.
  • Then we took troops over to Iraq and now the Taliban is back in Afghan.
  • The "End of Major Combat" was announced in Iraq, yet more troops died since the war ended than during the war.
  • American owned Enron and WorldCom went bankrupt and fucked up the economy more than Osama Bin Laden did on 9/11.
  • The Euro was put into circulation.
  • The Shield and The Wire debuted within 3 months of each other.
  • Michael Jackson got off (on his charges.)
  • A Tsunami destroyed Southeast Asia.
  • Katrina destroyed black people.
  • Dick Cheney got drunk and shot a dude in the face and may have also killed Terry Schiavo.
  • North Korea and Iran got nuclear weapons.

And that's about the dirty dozen right there. Check the true chart here (PDF link.)

Also, September 12th is the day of the Democratic Primaries in NYC so I am getting ready to go pee in the wind and vote.
I don't even know why I bother.


  1. I feel like you need a hug after this shit. Are you kidding me? The nasty anguish you parents must have felt g'damn! Just thinking about it my heart goes out to them. Im gonna go cry now.

  2. Wow. That was close. What made you get off the train early?

  3. Well the planes hit while I was in the train somewhere in BK I'm guessing.

    I got off because I was already late so I figured I'd get something to eat in BK first.