Most New Yorkers don't talk about the after effects of 9/11 much anymore, but this time of year inevitably brings back crystallized moments from that day. I didn't talk about it much then either, avoiding situations outside of NYC when people would want to share with me "their 9/11 story". I wasn't interested in other experiences, for I saw my adopted hometown break apart from my kitchen window. The. End. It wasn't and isn't an easy thing to process and accept.
I get a small pit in my stomach when I wake up to a clear, sunny, early September day with the bluest sky imaginable. Or when I drive down the BQE under Brooklyn Heights, directly across from where the Towers rose the largest to my eyes, something is just missing. And each autumn, when I see those giant beams of light projecting endlessly into the sky from a nighttime vantage on the East River, I get anxious before pausing for a moment--being forced into remembering--tear up a tiny bit, and usually follow it with a wan smile about what once was.