Friday, September 11, 2015

Nine-Hundred Eleven




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DCCCCXI

( Nine-Hundred Eleven )





 Now...
14 years have gotten behind us and yet...
it still seems like yesterday!


September 11, 2001 was a day that none of us will ever forget. It will certainly resonate within the depths of each and every person who witnessed those events firsthand, or live on the TV news, until the day they die!


I'm sure we all have a story to tell
concerning that dreadful morning.


Mine is nothing really extreme compared to so many others out there, but I just felt compelled to get it down on paper. If only to just relive
that moment in time one last time.


Oh not to forget it mind you, but just to move it further back into my memory bank because it really does affect me in such a negative manner... still!


I was asleep at home in Sayreville, New Jersey when the first plane hit. Then I was awakened by the ringing of the telephone shortly after that.


It was my now ex-wife Lynn, who was already at work just across the street from the World Trade Center towers in the World Financial Center.


I picked up the phone and she asked me
to turn on the television and find out
what was happening.


They were aware that something had occurred over at the towers, but were in the dark
about any of the specifics.


When I first turned on the TV and saw the smoldering hole in the side of the building, it really just seemed to be a very small event.


It was difficult to understand the scope, and the size of that devastation at first glance from the camera angle. No one on the news had yet to say that it was a massive gash we were looking at.


The words small plane were still being touted over the airwaves. And so I reassured Lynn not to worry, that it didn't seem to be a major event, and to just listen to what the officials on her floor were saying.


She hung up to continue her day, and soon after that, I witnessed the second plane exploding into the other tower as it happened live on TV.


I didn't hear back from Lynn again.


I thought for certain that she was lost.


Quickly, a tremendous quilt began to form within me, because I didn't have enough foresight to tell her to just drop everything, leave work
and walk north away from the area.


I know at the time it was impossible for anyone to predict the carnage that was about to occur, but I felt a heavy guilt nonetheless.


There was nothing I could do but stand there in absolute disbelief in front of that screen, and witness death happening right before my eyes.


I felt so helpless knowing that my wife was only several feet away from this horrifying event,
and I couldn't be there to protect her!


I began frantically trying to call her office. In my left hand was my cellphone and in my right was the home land-line phone, but I couldn't get through to her with either one.


I was ready to fucking kill someone at this point.


My only thought at that point was that she was going to leave her building and walk south, become trapped, and remain in the line of fire of whatever it was that was unfolding.


I paced the living room floor, speed dialing both phones but producing no results, and then the unthinkable happened.


The first tower crumbled to the ground
right before me fucking eyes.


I couldn't believe what I just witnessed.


I thought for sure that Lynn was gone,
buried beneath the mangled rubble.
I yelled out as loud as I could...


You MUTHAFUCKA'S!
I'm gonna fuckin' kill everyone of you fuckin' scumbags!


I heard similar outbursts leaving the opened doors of my next door neighbors.


I held both phones in my left hand but there was no more dialing. The only thing I could manage to do was pace, and yell at the TV screen...


Walk north Lynn...
If you're alive
just walk fuckin' north!


Until it happened again,
the second tower just disappeared
within a cloud of toxic smoke.


It was gone,
they were both gone,
and maybe my wife was gone as well!


The loud outburst's of disgust were now flying from every other neighbors house at this point.


My frustration boiled over.
I had to retaliate.
Someone was gonna pay
for killing all those people.


And there was a very real possibility
that one of them was my wife.


With both phones still in hand, I walked to my car, reached in and grabbed the steel red steering wheel club from the floor and proceeded to walk out into my street.


I just began shouting...


The first fucking illegal looking muthafucka that I see is going to die right here and now
by my very hands!



I was completely out of my mind at this point. I stood right in the middle of the street and dared every car that drove by to fuck with me, just to give me an excuse to pull them outta that car and beat their fuckin' head into a bloody mess.
(((I'm reading this back, and I just can't believe that this is how I responded to this horror. It reads like I'm a psychopath, but I'm anything but that. It's a bit unsettling to read this back to myself, I can tell you that much!)))


There was no stopping me.
Fortunately there were only a few cars that passed by and none of them challenged me in any way. They all just drove around me trying their best not to make eye contact!


Thank goodness!!
I'm the furthest thing from a violent, fist-fighting fuck, but, every person does have some sort of breaking point!


And so to vent my overwhelming anger I walked over to a nearby stop sign and began smashing it, denting it to all hell with the metal steering wheel club.


The sound of that steel hitting steel rang out reaching blocks away as if I were fucking Quasimodo in the steeple of Notre Dame relentlessly ringing the bell calling to the masses.


I had so much pent up frustration and sense of helplessness, that I just needed to allow some of that aggression to be released
or my head would explode.


And I’m so lucky that it was taken out on an unsuspecting red and white stop sign alongside the road, and not onto some innocent person who was probably as much on edge as I was.


That would have been a disaster in of itself. No doubt I would be sent to prison for the rest of my stupid life if someone had challenged me.


Suddenly, out of nowhere, about five, six, maybe even seven cars all came rushing towards me from every direction as I stood alongside
the intersecting roadways.


They surrounded me as I stood there clanging away. One person emerged from each car. At first I didn't know what was going on, until I realized that they all had one hand pointing at me, while the other one was at there sides grasping a gun.


They were police officers.


All of them driving unmarked police cruisers,
but several of them were wearing some sort
of official designation, so the whole scenario finally sunk in.


Once I caught on to what was happening, I became even more disgusted and enraged.


I lashed out at them...


What the fuck do you assholes want?!
The world is coming apart at the seams and you're here fuckin' with me!
Get the fuck away from me will ya!
You should be rounding up every fuckin' illegal muthafucka in this town!
Get the fuck away from me!


They kept walking towards me, beginning to surround me, still with hands firmly gripping their sidearms.


Finally one of them, the leader I guess,
began asking me to calm down.


Whats going on here sir?
Do you have a weapon other than that club?
Do you have a gun with you sir?


A GUN?
I replied.
I don't have a fuckin' gun asshole!
Do you see a fuckin' gun?


I felt the tension ease a bit.
He then said...


We've had calls coming in that people heard gunshots coming from this area. Are you sure
you don't have any other weapon sir?


I just rolled my eyes in disgust and said...


You wanna hear my fuckin' gun?


And then began to smack that sign as hard as I could replicating what neighbors mistook
as gunshots.


I stopped,
shook my head and said...


There's your fuckin' gunshots!


Then proceeded to walk towards my front yard, about 200 feet away, and tossed the club about 30 feet in the air landing onto my front lawn.


Now the only thing I had in my hands
were the two phones.


Most of the officers hurried back into their cars once they realized that I wasn't a threat and sped off. Probably to shut down the next lunatic who had blown a gasket.


The remaining officers had released their grip from their weapons now that they realized I was just an overwhelmed resident of the neighborhood.


Three of them followed me through the front door of my house and wanted to see some form I.D. just to confirm that I lived there.


I then explained to them the situation and that I'd just temporarily lost my senses for a bit
and that I was no real threat.


They calmed me down, and then jotted my name down onto a sheet of paper adding to an already long list of other names, and left.


I'm guessing that they were getting so many silly calls like this one that they didn't really have time to become too involved. Just stabilize the situation, and then move on to the next call. 


They must have been so busy on this morning, because I'm sure that I wasn't the only one
who wanted heads to roll.


Anyway, hours and hours had passed with no word. Just phone calls to and from friends
and family trying to locate Lynn.


Finally, hours and hours later I received a call from Lynn.


I couldn't believe that she was alive!


They were told to exit the building before either one of the towers came down. She said it was like walking through hell.


Stumbling past human remains, shoes and clothing, was just something they had to block out while moving north.


They walked over the Brooklyn Bridge to downtown Brooklyn. Where somehow they were able to board an MTA bus that was permitted to cross over the Verrazano Bridge into Staten Island. All bridges and tunnels had been shut down to all non-essential official
movement at this point.


I got a hold of some friends who were actually able to get to the bridge on the Staten Island side, pick her up, then drive Lynn
to her parents house.


Unbelievably, she hadn't been killed,
and was able to get to safety.


I was unable to get to her as all the bridges were still closed to all pedestrian traffic
until the next day.


When I finally got there, it was just heart wrenching to walk in that door and see my little innocent wife sitting on the couch, knowing that she was right in the middle of such a huge amount of destruction and devastation.


Just so unbelievable!
Surreal.


And so, that was my experience,
September 11, 2001.


I can't believe it's been almost 15 years
since that day.


I wrote that poem years after 9/11, and after Lynn and myself had gotten divorced.


How do you ever fall out of love with someone after they've lived through something like that!?


It's a regret that I will live with
for the rest of my life!


Anyhow, the day I wrote it I awoke feeling kinda gloomy and nostalgic and well, still feeling pretty helpless for some reason.


It was just one of those fucked up lost days
that we all experience from time to time.


I still look back and think about the people lost and almost lost, from the old neighborhood circle of friends and also all of the workers I knew through my job that worked at the trade center.


My company had clients in both towers and we were always there on service calls, at all hours of the day and night. I still can't believe that no one from my company, including myself, was there at the time on a service call.

Still have a few visitor's passes that were needed to enter the towers after the 1993 bombing attempt.


I'm sure your morning on that day was just as hectic, frantic, or possibly even worse.


Everyone will remember that entire morning.


Exactly where they were
and exactly how they reacted.


All I can say is that my heart goes out to each and every one of you. Like it or not, we are now all connected by a common bond, and that makes all of us brothers and sisters to one another.


And at times, I truly believe that.


From time to time,
I feel as though you are
my brothers and sisters.



From the neighborhood!






DCCCCXI


The skies ablaze with hatred
A billowing horror
I’m helpless…


Telephone calls that couldn’t be made
Frozen timeless ticks… life is fading away
I’m helpless…


Ten million thoughts… pure insanity
Standing there in disbelief
Unable to reach out… unable to save
I’m helpless…


I’ve just lost my heart... followed by my soul
Moments ever engrained into all I have left
A meaningless mass... flesh and bone
I’m helpless…


Comes a quiet within the confusion
Concealing my anger… a numbing pain
Hours pass… a dormant phone
Scrolling words now forever consume my life
Recording a history not deserved
I’m helpless…


There will never be another tomorrow
As long as I can see today
And today will last my lifetime
I’m afraid tomorrow’s sun has been lost
Eternal darkness calls
I’m helpless…




The New World Trade Center... New York




Nine-Hundred Eleven coming to life


Nine-Hundred Eleven fully grown up