The sky was so clear and the depth of blue so infinite you could lose your
balance staring into it. Later that day I would remember how hot the sun felt on
my head, and if not for the t-shirt wrapped around it, it would have burned.
I remember wishing I was a bird, just to fly off without effort. I hated
being grounded, I felt helpless.
I remember seeing abandoned baby strollers; mothers choosing to grab their
babies and run to whatever end. A single shoe, then others, heels, dress shoes,
all left in favor of the speed of the bare foot.
I remember the wall of debris rushing towards us. People jumping in the
I remember looking at a patch of grass and thinking it was a fine spot to
die, if that was what had to come.
I remember listening to music, dozing quietly, the motion of my morning bus
rocking me to sleep.
I remember my mother’s voice on the telephone, at first abated my fears as
only a mother can do, then later, when she was at a loss; I knew I was in
I remember the man I saw who jumped. I don’t know who he was. He was wearing
a suit and there was a part of me lost with him.
I remember the fear on all the faces around me. We were all children, lost in
the supermarket, stumbling around the aisles looking for mommy. That fear slices
right through you, fills the air, and spreads quickly.
I remember asking a cop what to do and realizing he was just as likely to ask
me what to do, but he didn’t and that was good.
I remember at an abandoned hotdog cart handing out a few bottles of water, one
to a woman covered in ash. She said ‘thank you’, but I don’t think she really saw
I remember walking, and walking. I swore never to be without comfortable
shoes ever again.
I remember men and women in front of a synagogue in Brooklyn, handing out
food and drinks to weary walkers. I sat on a bench, and a man sat next to me and
said, "I had a job interview in the WTC and I just got out." We sat
there for a few minutes, silent, he got up to find a phone. We wished each other
I remember the ride home with my parents, when everything that held me
together came unglued. And I cried.
I remember finally seeing my wife Michelle and our embrace lasted forever.