Posting late at night on purpose.
“A heart in New York; love in her eyes. An open door & a friend for life.”
Thank you so very much, Chasmosaur, for sharing your favorite NYC song. Melted me.
Quiet now; shush. Gotta give it to Mr. Garfunkel & his musician friends. Let’s start with an NYC love~song:
Of all the places I could have been, it was there. I was not in the Towers. I was around & under them. That’s all I want to say about that part of it.
Some of you reading this may have been there, too. NYC is a big town while also being the greatest city in the world. Did you get that? The Greatest City in The World. I’m sure there are many people who don’t yet comment here that live in NYC, too, so, “hello.” If I’m right, I’m holding your hand.
I’m going to get personal. It’s all I have to give you. All I’ve got for my own narrative is what’s still in my heart, 14 years later. 14 years later I’m a bit ready to talk about it to internet strangers.
But my GroupThinkers? You are not strangers to me, at all. So I write knowing that you know me, Internet Krabby. It’s a comfort to me to semi~anonymously share with you after 14 years. It’s taken me this long to talk. I know you’re holding MY hand.
My sweet baby was a SGT. Man in the NYPD when I met him on Saint Patrick’s Day 2001, in Bay Ridge, at his neighborhood bar. It was my bar, too, just not from teenage years. He is born & raised Brooklyn style with a shit ton of friends who are still his friends; a degenerate Irish/Italian bunch headed for jail or the police department on legacy. The last generation with a Brooklyn accent.
We did a shy~dance for months after, every time we ran in to each other after our initial meeting, but it was clear that he & I should be a “we.” Always had so much to talk about, plus laughter, which is the dirt from which love grows. We made love for the first time in the backseat of my Cherokee in October, 2001 because we couldn’t wait to get back to my apartment. It started in the front seat. Holy. Fucking. Shit.
Rewind to the Terrible Day. We thought each other dead. We both were not, by the grace of god. We looked for each other in the aftermath, no cell phone service & no TV, but it took nearly 2 weeks til we laid hands on each others faces. So, the man and me fell hard in love. If that could even be possible in the shadow of that day.
Possible it was. 13 years later, he blew up our lives. I’m still wounded, shot through with heart~break, but recovering. I’m a tough Krab from Jersey. No lie, no hubris; I’m the Krab you want in your corner.
But the Terrible Day is still a wound that I alternately run from, yet taste in my mouth. It’s still a part of my body. It’s still metal in my heart & a smell I can’t forget. I don’t think I’ll ever shake it & how can I, you know? How can we? The souls floated over us in smoke, for weeks. And weeks.
We were all broken.
I still see the jumpers & I will never forget them. I’ll never get over them. I’ll always bear witness to the decision they had to make. I still recall in flashback the knowledge like a 2x4 that smacked the back of my head about my friends, and strangers, in the building. The FDNY, the NYPD and what their likely fates were.
Turned out, I and we were lucky. Thousands of our people were not.
I also know full well that in the history of humans on this earth, much the same happened in the past. I also know that it will happen in the future. I recognize I’m being selfish here, but I won’t apologize for my attention to New York.
So, here is my love letter.
1) To my Cop~
I could kick your mother fucking ass from here til Sunday, but I never will. I will instead be your touchstone any time you want (& lately, you want.)
We were a Terrible Day love story. Bore witness & shared in increments over 13 years things no one should ever have to see or do or bear. You went in, not knowing if you’d come out.
2) to my Fireman~
My sweet friend. Years of musical & world view compatibility between us. We met at a Kelly Joe Phelps show at the Knitting Factory in the ‘90’s. Both of us went alone. Beer.
“I make shit look real,”says me. “I’m a Fireman,” says him.
Born & raised in NYC, Masters degree in English Literature from Georgetown, he wanted to “Be useful. Do something that matters.”
I thought I knew he was dead. He was my first failed attempt at a phone call & it went on for days. It took 9 days until he was the voice in my phone.
Aquagrill, Soho, 2 months later. We’re meeting for oysters. I arrived first, he walks in. I jump. We wrap ourselves up in each others arms in the middle of the restaurant and I can not stop touching his face. Tears, the quiet kind, the kind you can not control & the kind no one except the two of you can see. Him, too; tears. We held each other for quite a long time. The only words we said to each other were, “oh, my god.”
Then we ate oysters & got shitfaced on Martinis. Polluted. Together, because he was alive.
We ended the night near 3am in a taxi going through a White Castle drive thru near my apartment in Brooklyn. Yea, we ate those tiny hamburgers & made love ‘til the sun came up.
I’ve railed about it all here before now. I avoid this particular day, big time, in my real life. I’ve run away every year since. I run away to Long Beach Island, every year. It is a good decision for me.
I’m running away again starting tomorrow, but I will finish Part 2 at some point whether you want it or not, because I can finally talk about it a bit.
My GT friends, on the internet, have given me that gift.