September 16, 2008

After the fall

My niece was rather cold when she let me into her apartment to pick up my belongings. Given the OST (Overall Scheme of Things), I was inclined to put my arm around her, hug her, offer her the bed, the bedroom set, as a thank-you for her kindness to Dad. But she was so distant, telling me that she didn’t have much time to waste because she hadn’t had lunch yet (so what? I didn’t have lunch at all that day, nor the day before, nor the day after, nor the day after that), that I kept my peace.

A 4/5 hour drive to my friend Angela’s in New Jersey. What seemed the simplest route was the longest. Around exit 16 you can see the NY skyline very well, a view I have seen many many times. On this magnificent sunny afternoon at 5 pm, the smoke from the lower end of Manhattan was billowing north like a locomotive at full throttle. The source of the smoke was black and reddish and blurred. My eyes squinted at the south side of the island, telling me there was something wrong with the landscape. Something was out of whack. Missing. Those two ugly towers had become part of my mental imprint of this area and their absence was disquieting.