fountain at Lincoln Center

Sunday October 14. 2001

what i couldn't say then

It was odd riding to work with John on Friday. We ate breakfast at the Dorian as usual, then boarded the 7 and then the 5 train to Fulton Street. It was very sweet, riding with the rest of the morning rush, holding his hand.

The Fulton street station was a complicated maze of signs and chained-up entrances, because the west side of Broadway was closed, thus closing half the exits of the station. We emerged to the surface, and John pointed to the left, and said, "There it is."

And there it was. Or wasn't.

I felt that vacuum feeling I felt when I first heard about the Trade Center on September 11th. My breath sucked inside my body. I could feel my mouth hanging open, my eyes blinking, all those weird mechanical things your body does when it has problems processing what it's seeing. I kissed John goodbye absently, and I just stared for a while.

A month and a day after September 11th, I was able to get a block away from the North Tower. Part of it still stands - about 6 or 7 stories. It is a burned out square mass, a squat black skeleton dwarfed by the buildings around it. I could see the Borders sign still hanging on the bottom floor.

And the sky. The blank sky.

I turned, and walked around the block. There was still so much dust everywhere - on the eaves of buildings and in the corners of the sidewalks. I stopped and looked at one of the many makeshift memorials. I read and looked at the children's art. I couldn't cry. It didn't seem right.

I walked south, and walking down lord knows what street I saw the remains of the South Tower. All the pictures that you've seen on the news are even more surreal when you're right next to it. Barricades were up, and a crowd of people were gathered in front of them. Almost everyone had a camera of some sort in their hand. John had said that the police were preventing people from taking pictures, but that wasn't the case here. Everyone was quiet, and there was no pushing and shoving. I carefully shuffled my way to the front, took some pictures, and then moved to the back, taking pictures of the people around me. Their expressions are something I will never forget.

I wish I could I could stop writing about this. I wish I could forget.

So anyway. I did see Tori Amos in concert twice in the last few days. Once in NYC, and once in Philly. It's probably the best live music I've seen in a while. I remembered again why I love Tori so much - it's her power, her ability to walk onto a stage and instantly command the entire space of the theatre and have the audience in the palm of her hand. Her music and her passion at the piano gave me courage in my own music. She was the first musician who I truly fell in love with, and you never forget your first.

The best moments? At the NYC show, she covered "Landslide", a song that tears me up to begin with, and was only rendered more beautiful and heartbreaking. At the Philly show, she covered "Philadelphia" by Neil Young (no, NOT Bruce Springsteen - this version played at the end of the movie, during the memorial service), which was beautiful as well. Strange that both of them were covers. It was special, especially with John holding my hand the entire time. It's something I'll never forget.

One Year Ago:
"But it's hard not to just want to melt onto the floor whenever he looks at me with those intense ice blue eyes and, even if he's just asked me about the weather, feel like he's probing the depths of my soul."

Two Years Ago:
"As I was walking to work this morning, it was cool and wonderfully windy."