I am...a New Yorker

[Previous entry: "Escapng, Copng"]

Monday, September 17, 2001
Home, agan

A post card from Ana, post marked 9/7/01 n London. It seems a miracle that there's mail, email, electricity, phones, runnng water. It makes me feel like it's not as real and bad and awful as it is.

Such a complex ball of emotions, I can't even begn to say. Guilt for survivng, guilt for laughng, shame for desertng the snkng ship, guilt for sngng along to bad '80s music, surprise every day I wake up, guilt for takng my safety for granted so long, guilt for not dong a damn thng to help, fear of what's to come.

About once a day until today. Even though I've been up earlier and longer these days, I forget until I start to feel sick and scritchy.

A stupid red beret to warm my head after shavng it last weekend.

The stench of death and destruction, and of people. I tasted it, too. I had it pretty easy, compared to the stories you hear, but I'll never forget.

How easy I've had it.

I am...still reelng, but no longer runnng. Part of me is glad to be back home, but part of me is devastated that it no longer feels so much safer and more carefree than the violent home I left so many years ago.

Someone posted on fray that everyone's lookng at each other and New Yorkers never look at each other. What I'll never get over is how many times I heard, "be safe" or "get home safe" from a perfect stranger or spoke them myself, especially to cabbies. My Lebanese coworker said they're gettng hit both ways.

I once wrote that smokng pot felt like sharng a collective dream with those around you. We're walkng around here, frail orphans sharng a collective nightmare.

Somehow, it was more disconcertng to be surrounded by police when I went back to my new apartment on Wednesday. I realize they're here to do a job, but it enhanced the feelng of beng n a war zone. It was bizarre for 14th Street to be blocked off.

14th_st_091201 (11k image)

st_troopers_091201 (9k image)

This was my view before, much like it looked last Sunday afternoon when I sat up at the roof and stared at the World Trade Center, nstead of the Empire State Buildng, like I normally do:

wtc_082701 (6k image)

This was my view on Wednesday afternoon:

wtc_091201b (6k image)

wtc_091201 (5k image)

I don't have to tell you the how, when or why. You know. We all know. It's still not snkng n.

. . .

I clung to Rob's mom's dog all weekend. Had there been babies around, I'd never have let them go.

I needed to see some beauty, openness, green, Americana as well.

vermont_trees_091601 (5k image)

vermont_road_091601 (6k image)

covered_bridge_vt (6k image)

Who am I to ride around the lush, green splendor of Vermont?

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Replies: 2 comments

Glad to see you're home, Erica. Take care of yourself!

Posted by Ana @ 09/17/2001 05:33 PM EST

Glad you're okay.

Down n DC, everyone is tryng to act normal, especially for the kids. But with so many people who are related to folks who work at the Pentagon, it's been hard. There were also a few elementary school students and teachers from DC public schools that were on the flight that crashed nto the Pentagon.

I feel a mixture of emotions as well. But very early n life I lost a lot of people close to me and I've learned through the years that everythng happends for a reason. That as panful as life can be sometimes, God doesn't make mistakes and doesn't give you anythng you can't handle.

Take care,

Posted by Sonja @ 09/18/2001 10:40 AM EST

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