fuck oliver stone.

That time just after it happened was so peaceful. There was quiet sorrow and trepidation, and a need to be around one another in silence. I remember the candle light procession in Williamsburg, the people weeping in Union Square, my neighbors gathered at sunset during that string of clear blue, beautiful days to stare at the gigantic plume over the horizon, like a tornado caught in freeze frame…

There was an overarching sense of blamelessness…of the impossibility of anyone ever IMAGINING something like this. What were they thinking? we thought, hypothesizing and turning up blanks. This was a sneak attack. A low blow—the lowest blow there is—attacking innocent civilians inside of cities.

We stood there in the street, unrolling for miles, droopy and bendy and soft like stems of grass in the everglades. And still we couldn’t cover it, still we couldn’t get our minds around it or the green of understanding to travel far enough. The incomprehension made it larger than life: as it became clear that there were to be no more survivors the plume of smoke turned sublime and then disappeared, just like those people did. It was the antiseptic nature of it all that made it so crazy—this tiny (yet deep) incision was made to this precise area of the city and just like that nearly three thousand people were gone with hardly a trace. Meanwhile the rest of us brushed off the dust and got back to work. There was the inherent knowledge that, in the end, we were all replaceable--the city itself was a more important entity than any several thousand of the rest of us. Business went on as usual, but there was something different about everything and everyone. The tragedy cast the twin shadows of vanity and despair across the city--puffing out all of our chests with the knowledge that it was all meant to be…us standing there in that country and in that place and time looking up at the hole in the sky with flags flapping all around us. We couldn’t imagine ourselves anywhere else cuz we were so focused on where we stood and what we saw.

…and what we DIDN’T see.

…as often as we saw that plane striking the tower, over and over on repeat, not a single one of us saw that shit coming.

That’s what we thought then, united as New Yorkers.

It was a feeling that lasted about a month—ending about the time the United States military invaded Afghanistan.

a grand's worth of beef

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