Repost: Tuesday, September 11, 2001
by pronounced "ahhh" like a sigh
This borough has always represented a safe haven from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan living. As the smoke blows into Brooklyn, reminding us of the days events, the truth of that echoes in the stillness that’s been created.
In my neighborhood, old men spit theory of who, what, where and why “I thought this shit ended with Reagan…” . In the local bodega, women shake their heads and say things like, “Me leavin dis place here. Tek me back to Jamaica straightaway. The local hustlers, “Yo, man. Let them bring that shit to the ‘Bush.” The young ones never really knew this and I feel like a young one, unable to process this without that mouth agape, teary eyed disbelief.
For we, raised on movies like Independence Day and The Siege it just doesn’t seem real. This security we’ve enclosed ourselves in. This security we’ve created. This untouchable idea that no one dare fuck with <i>us</i>. We’re waiting for Denzel Washington or Will Smith or Jet Li or some other brother with an attitude and a quick punch to save the day. Waiting for the musical score to signify victory. But there is no victory in this amongst the soot and ash of fallen debris and tears. Just questions and shock. A mad scramble to figure out the whereabouts of our loved ones and special acquaintances. Thinking of people who haven’t crossed our minds in months, sometimes years but suddenly remembering, “Isn’t so and so’s office down there?” Mad dash to remember phone numbers, spelling last names into phone receivers trying to find a way to contact those you’ve let slip out of your life·. For whatever reason.
Many of us are concerned about the retaliation, accusations creating space for xenophobia, praying for the lost, and dealing with bursts of never before mentioned patriotism, anger, rage, disbelief, shock. We could speak of all these things and cliches like chickens coming home to roost or two wrongs don’t make a right. We can speak of feeling insecure in a country that claims to do all things in the name of security and liberty and safety and justice and freedom. We can speak of all these things and more·but there will be time for that in the weeks that come.
Right now, I choose to speak of you-my family, my friends and the love I am want to make religion and ritual. Understanding that in those moments of panic and disbelief trapped somewhere within the shock, is the love I feel for you. Your safety. Your security. Even those nowhere near the blasts by geography or fortuitous coincidence-too many events in the last weeks have pointed to the need to hold life firmly in the palm of your hands. Hold it like the lover you are afraid will leave you. The child you fear is in danger. Like religion. Like yourself. Fearlessly. It’s not about deeming ourselves the lucky ones because that would imply that those that died did so because they were somehow without it or unworthy of it. I want to focus on the second chance given to maximize love and live it. Some of you I haven’t spoken to for whatever reason, in days, months sometimes years, and some I’ve only come to recently but know that when the bell tolls-you live in me. Love isn’t time. It’s understanding.
I love you. I don’t want tragedy to remind us of what was. I want tragedy to remind us that what could be-already exists. LOVE like you mean it. Like you made it. Like you own it. When I love you, it’s forever. I refuse to allow the trivialities and pettiness of urban living to blind me from what is. If I’ve wronged you, I’m sorry. If I’ve neglected you, please, welcome me back. If it seems like I’ve turned my back, forgive me, I’m holding out my arms now. If I love you, believe it. If you need me, I’m here. I love you all. Be safe. Stay safe. Be strong. Stay strong. Hug someone. Kiss yourself.