9/11 was the end of fiction in America. The fucked-up-ness of the truth has since surpassed anything anyone could make up.
Prior to that day, our overfed, overpaid nation harbored a collective fantasy about large scale annihilation and instant death, of burning bodies and exploding skyscrapers and aliens from the sky delivering us our just desserts.
I remember sitting in a downtown bar not long after it happened, when you could still smell the tang of death in the air. Those were the days when everyone was quiet—when you sat staring at the floor on the subway with yr head in yr hands and waited patiently for things you usually got pissy over having to wait for. A shaggy haired kid was next to me, nursing his Stella. Fat drops of condensation streamed down the bottle and turned the bright yellow, petrified wood of the bar into a smooth shade of chocolate brown. I sneezed and he offered me a cocktail napkin. He looked like the stoner version of the Cambell Soup boy. I waited for the inevitable question, the initiation of the simple quid pro quo that was like flashing yr membership card to the saddest club on earth...
so...where were you when it happened?
But he didn't ask me...he just sat there, staring into space while his Stella sobbed on and on.
Just when I didn't think I could take it another second and was about to ask him instead, he swiveled in his stool and fixed his sweet brown eyes on mine.
"What are we going to do," he said, "now that we've gotten everything we ever wished for?"
I remember I sat there blinking with an unlit cigarette hanging out of my mouth. All I could think of was that scene in Independence Day, when the freakin white house gets zapped into smithereens by the fattest laser beam of all time.
I was dumbfounded, and speechless. I paid for my drink and wandered home, where i collapsed in my bed as though shoved there by a gigantic hand.
I wish I could find that kid, cuz it's taken years but now I finally know what to do:
"We'll make blogs and fill them with things that are real."