Thursday, November 29, 2001

Exorcism

Last night Stephen took me o see Phil Lesh at the Beacon.

My PTSD related quirks since 9/11:
  • I can't sleep in my bed, only the couch
  • I fear crowds
  • I don't go out at night
  • I can't stand loud noise
I figured that I could deal with crowds, darkness and loud noises all at the same time and if I started getting freaky...I would have Steph with me. (He practices family medicine and Psychiatry). He's quite funny.

He said, "the concert will be your exorcism and your head will spin around and you'll barf green stuff - then you'll be your old self". The he said, "You're under doctor's orders to have fun and dance!" - which I did....'til 12:30 am. It was such fun. I asked him for a lift home and he gave me one which was terribly nice since he lives at 190th street. He said, "I figured you wouldn't get your PTSD butt in the subway".

We talked a bit about that day. He had gone downtown hoping to give medical care, but ended up working the "bucket brigade". He only found body parts. He said he was moved by what he saw, but not traumatized. He said he doesn't do trauma and never worries.

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.

Wednesday, November 14, 2001

Better at Faking It

My sensei always says, "imagine yourself doing something perfectly and eventually your body will follow".

I'm getting better at faking it....everyone at work thinks I'm much better, but inside I'ms still counting the days until I can move away and start over. Every night I say sort of a safety prayer for my cats and myself. Every morning I give thanks for a safe night and wish for a safe day. It's a ritual. I set my coffee maker at night to remind me that there will be a tomorrow.

Last night I had a dream that I was talking to my late grandmother. We were talking about how people respond to the dying. During our conversation, I realized that the reason I still hurt from her death was because we never had any closure. I didn't get to talk to her before she passed as I did with my other two grandparents. Oddly enough, when I woke this morning, I felt that we just had our conversation.

I also had another nightmare about planes.

Tuesday, November 13, 2001

One Cool Thing

As I was riding my bike home from work last evening, I spotted David Byrne turning
the corner on his bike. I yelled, "Hi David!" and he replied, "Be
careful" and rode over to me. As he rode beside me, I told him that I had
been invited to his art show at Christina Rose Gallery some years ago, but that
I had been to nervous to go. He said, "that WAS a few years ago and why were
you nervous". I said, " I don't know, but I'm not nervous at
all talking to you now and I'm happy I got a second chance to meet you."
He said, "that's good" and smiled. I said, "well have a good
night" and peddled off.

It didn't hit me until today that I just had another cool moment in life. Now
I can scratch him off my list of people I want to meet. I have a several people
left on my list, 2 of which are:
- Bjork
- Dalai Lama

Monday, November 12, 2001

Flash Back

Still having difficulty sleeping. I've been sleeping on the couch again since my uncle left. Elivs sleeps at my side. I wake frequently during the night. I had another flash back that startled me as I was drifting to sleep. It sounded like two loud pops or explosions.

Friday, November 09, 2001

Nuclear Nightmare

Friday November 9

Another nuclear nightmare. I was in a loft trying to gather my cats. I
heard a noise and looked out the window. I saw the Empire State
Building, other sky scrapers and sidewalk rolling towards me, turning
everything upside down and inward - like you roll a carpet.

Thursday, November 08, 2001

Melt Down

Thursday November 8, 2001

Had another minor melt down. I was riding my bike home from work. (By
the time I reach the back of WFC it's already dark which is why I asked
for earlier work hours. The center is not willing to help.) It's
frightening riding through there at night. No buzz of conversation
coming from the cafes and bars that surround the boat basin. All the
stores and offices are dark. The only light is that of the giant spot
lights illuminating "ground zero" in the foreground. The effect
transforms WFC into a black and jagged sillouette. Something caught my
eye in the sky as I was riding so I stopped my bike to watch. I thought
it was birds circling, but soon reasoned that it was much too dark out
and much too high for it to be birds. I soon discovered that I was
watching fighter jets and my heart began to pound and I started to cry
again and peddled quickly home.

I had nightmares.

1. I was outside Barton Ave Elementary School waiting for a bus. My
mother was sitting on a lawn chair. I was anxious. I noticed in the
sky some objects that I thought was planes, but the were trains and
other land vehicles. Then to the west I saw a swirling flash of light
and knew something nuclear had happened. I asked my mother if we could
go back to her house and her reply was a sarcastic, "what for....go
ahead if you want". Then I woke up.

2. I was at an ice rink in a school when I heard planes overhead that
began bombing us. I told 2 men to follow me and ran out into the school
yard. It was dark. I crawled on my belly along a chain link fence and
across the street into the woods. It was now day time. We followed a
rail road track and found a shack where they wanted to stay. I told
them it wasn't safe to be anywhere near something worth bombing like
transportation or an obvious target like shelter.
I said we would need to go deeper into the forrest a dig a shelter that
could not be seen from the sky. Then I woke up.

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