Due to the fact that I’m a night owl, I tend to sleep late. It wasn’t any different fifteen year ago, when New York stood still. Back then, I used to live in a studio apartment, located on the last stop of the N train in Astoria, Queens— one of my favorite neighborhoods in this city. Back then, we were coming down from a Rock ‘n Roll high call the late 90’ when Britpop owned the airwaves, and we were entering the dreaded Nu Metal phase. That’s probably when my interest in music began to dwindle—never cared about that genre.
My favorite song became Clint Eastwood by Gorillaz
That September morning the phone kept ringing off the hook, I picked it up. It was a good friend of mine telling me to turn the TV, I did—no signal on any channel, (I didn’t have cable) then he told me that there was an accident at the World Trade Center, he said that a plane had crashed on one of the buildings, and that he was getting the fuck out of there.
He was working as a landscaper inside of the WTC.
Since there were no TV signals, I tried the radio, which at the time I had permanently tuned to the Howard Stern Show; this was way before the FCC made him jump to Sirius radio. Howard had a minute to minute play on what was going on—then he said that a second plane had hit the other building, at first I thought he was fucking around, then the phone rang again; it was my sister, then my mother, calling to see if I wasn’t at work even though they knew that I worked nights at a bar in Soho. The first attack to the WTC was in 1993, I remember the perpetrators’ being caught fairly quickly. Who knew that this time around things were going to be different?
My friend the landscaper got out of there unscathed, he later told me all about the horrendous things he saw that day, which I will not repeat. He is now a happily married father of one, a boy, and I hope that someday he writes about what he went through that day. The smell of burnt asbestos lingered for weeks, I’ll never forget it–It smelled like cancer.
It didn’t take long for the drums of war to become louder, and louder. The rest, as they say is history.
Please, take a moment to remember the lives that were lost that day.