I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Saturday, December 31, 2011


Names at the 9/11 Memorial this morning.

My visit had nothing to do with the New Year; I made a reservation as soon as they started accepting them, and this was the first available slot during daylight hours. The wintry day, the brown trees, the intermittent sun were appropriate to the mood, but because the new World Trade Center buildings are rising up all around, the memorial is in the middle of a construction site and so still feels raw and unfinished.

There are two pools, in the footprints of the towers, and it was odd how small they seemed. Those towers were so huge! They loomed over everything in lower Manhattan, and maybe that distorted my sense of scale, but I used to take a shortcut through the lobby of the North Tower when I worked downtown and that lobby felt a mile wide when I was running late.

Now they're gone, reduced to perimeters engraved with the names of the dead, and the only enormity is their absence. All the absences, everything and everyone that was, and then suddenly, wasn't.

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