Last night I did a 'virtual walkthrough' again. A single word 'Path train'
started the snowball effect. My mind's
eye visualized the now buried WTC
Path train station, I walked it's length remembering the many times I sat
for a train. I took the escalator to the next level of shops.
To the store where I purchased Plushy the large beanie turtle
in 2000. And
so it continued until I had revisited the entire WTC site, in my head, as it
was, as it will never be again.
I wanted to stop the visualization but couldn't. It took on an emotional
life of its own. And that is how I feel these
days, 6+ months after the
Towers crashed. The WTC disaster has taken on a life of its own. I can't
stop it, the images
are everywhere. Our Nation, our days, our news, our
advertisements, our lives, are permeated by artifacts and symbols of
horrendous day. Like a virus, it invades our consciousness. And like
shrapnel stuck in my spine, it causes me continuing
Over my lifetime I have seen many losses. Some as wrenching as the WTC
destruction. But all were self-contained. They
were MY losses and in time
items, locations, etc. stopped triggering the flood of memory and emotions.
I could also
escape. I could take myself physically elsewhere, where there
was nothing to trigger the memories, and thus take a 'breather'.
They said the world changed on Sept 11. How right they were. All the simple
and innocuous items of everyday life have
taken on a totally new meaning.
Old Glory has ceased to be just a FLAG. She is now the symbol of a country's call
arms. A constant reminder of 9/11. She is everywhere. I cannot escape
her. From my office space to the highway, to that
stranger with that flag
pin coming at me down the street. Then there are the WTC widows: In the
news, in the magazines,
in the TV shows, in an early morning news item about
an attempted mugging.....WTC WIDOW an adjective wrapped around the
My mind has been messed with when I even see the trooper who gave me the
speeding ticket in the same category
as the NYC police - heroes - because he
wears a uniform! Heroes are everywhere. They are in toys, in slogans, on
in TV ads, in real life, in fiction. But they are not Superman
or Batman, they are firefighters and policemen and everyday
climbed down 80 flights of stairs carrying a paralyzed woman on their back.
And each day another 'HERO'
For many months, I too was caught up in the emotions of this Nation's loss.
I hungered each day to learn one more
factoid about the day of the disaster,
see one more individual exhumed form Ground Zero, talk to one more person to
what their experience of that day was like. But now I want to move on. I
want to heal. And I can't. I feel like I am buried
beneath Ground Zero and
the rubble is the constant pressure of all these reminders. I want to escape
but to where?