Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11, 2001

Facebook friends are posting a lot of NYC WTC images today. One friend added her own words, something like: People are forgetting and we should never forget. I wonder why. She also mentioned how people came together for a few days following the tragedy, which may be why she thinks we should not forget; for a brief moment in time, we, the people stood united.

Or maybe that was all an illusion.

I saw Tony at a store last week. I said hello. He said something about it being a long time, then asked, "Do you miss me?". Odd, until I realized he was trying to give store clerk the impression that I hung around with Tony. Especially when Tony laughed about spending the evening together. Yikes.

I am thinking it was September 16, 2001 I saw Tony waiting with the crowd at Lincoln Park for a meal. I checked calendar, the 16th was Sunday and Main library was still open on Sunday's back then. Feeding homeless in the park (like pigeons, as the Councilwoman said) was still routine. Sundays, homeless at the park had to endure a religious service before being handed plates of food.

I remember putting my tote bag on the ground, illustrating with body language, how the somber homeless crowd should be reacting to the guitar strumming religious sermon. "Thank you, Lord, thank you, Jesus, thank you that I am not on a plane flying into tall buildings," arms raised, bending in direction of Long Beach's WTC building.

Or, to be glad of life, thankful for food and not to take either for granted. Not knowing, that day, I would someday be standing in line with the rest of the homeless at Lincoln Park. During my time on the streets, I often mentioned planes flying into tall buildings. I watched parents watching kids playing soccer, happy as can be, wondering how they would feel if another country started dropping bombs on us, disrupting lives, as we were doing to innocent citizens in Iraq.

If not for "911" I might not have made the wrong choice in 2002 ~ thinking family was most important; or my life may have turned out exactly the same. I was quite happy and content with my life on September 10, 2012 ~ except for some neighbors, that is, and men like Tony trying to get in my pants. That changed the next morning. People went on with their lives. Doubt that any forgot about the event.

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