Tuesday, November 27, 2001

Bizarro World

I feel like I'm in some kind of bizarre movie.

As I ride my bike home at night, I find a brief moment of peace when I
whiz through the small streets of the village. The village always felt
like home to me- small, quaint and friendly.
Then I cross over to Varick St. and share the rode with big trucks and
harried tunnel folk. Next over cobble stone streets in Tribeca which
rattle every bone in my body. When I get to Chambers St., the ground is
always wet from the constant cleaning to minimize toxic dust. If the
air is the right temperature I can pretend it's the end of winter when
the air is crisp and cooler than spring and the melting snow has bathed
the streets. Crossing west side hwy is strange now - no through
traffic, only vehicles going to and from ground zero.
It makes crossing easy and swift. As I approach South End Ave from the
north, it gets sad. It's dark. The jagged, twisted, bombed-out
buildings are a black silhouette against an dark prussian blue sky. It
looks like a set from a Tim Burton movie. There are more people
wandering about lately, but it's not the usual crowd. Now it's a mob of
tourists coming down to gawk at the horror and take photos. I think if
I didn't live here I would not come down to see it. There is an ever
replenished wall off teddy bears and flowers which, sadly, does
accurately represent the mass of people that suffered and perished in
the towers. I don't like passing that spot, but there is no way around
it. For me, it causes more pain, as I pass it twice daily. I wish they
had picked a more secluded place for what I call "The Wall of Grief".

The officials have done their best making this place look like "normal".
They have replaced lawns and hosed down buildings. Yet now that most of
the leaves have fallen, you can play "what's wrong with this picture".
Several tree tops still have debris in them. Amidst the squirrel nests,
one can spot tangled window blinds. I've counted two sets so far. In
one particular tree on Warren St. (which is some distance away) there is
a huge chunk of cement stuck in a tree top.

I am cat sitting for "Cowboy" down the hall from my flat. From 9D one
can see ground zero. The windows were blown out in that flat so the
floors had to be replaced. The window sills are in terrible shape and
should probably be replaced as well. From the window I can see the
corner building attached to mine. One corner apartment window is blown
out and covered with plastic. It's been over 2 months and it still
isn't fixed. The brickwork below the window is severely damaged and I
wonder why it hasn't been fixed. I wonder if it can somehow affect the
structure of that building.

I had another nightmare last night. I was driving along a wooded road
with my late grandmother, Irma. It was a winter night.
Bombs were being dropped from the sky.
We drove off to the side of the road for cover.
I woke up.

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