"The Nine Eleven Episode" - September 2001 - A phone call from a friend woke me up on 9/11. Not because I was late for work, but because I was under-employed and might have slept through it. When I tuned in, they were still calling it an "explosion" at the World Trade Center. And then the second plane hit, and a nationwide mental Rubicon was crossed.
I called my girlfriend (who <i>was</i> at work). It seemed like the thing to do. She wanted to fight about something. I said Jesus Fucking Christ do you see what’s going on. She was still whining when the first tower fell. I don’t remember what I said then, but I’m pretty much sure it was 100% expletives.
I hung up on her. Or maybe I didn’t. All I know was that the phone was presently no longer in my hand, because it then began to ring from friends and family finding out if I was alive. It was a landline. I still didn’t own a cellphone.
After that, it was TV news, gazes at the UN building, which was across the street from my apartment, and watching the wall of smoke creeping across the East River. I was okay, of course I was. I am not a finance guy, I don’t go to Wall Street. Around the time our president spewed the phrase, ”catch the folks who did this,” I busted out of the house and wandered the streets for a few hours. I wish I could say that I “went down there” as my journalistic instincts told me to, but I just wandered in a daze and took no initiative, observed little, snapped boring photographs of auxiliary police, and eventually went home again.
Everyone has their own little story to tell about 9/11. I was there on Manhattan Island. I was among the populace most directly shocked by the events. But that doesn’t make my story particularly important, or, as evinced in this passage, interesting.
So I drew this. I even considered killing Shoe off in the disaster, but that would have been motherfucking self-indulgent. The way this episode and the previous one straddle the event still gives me chills. But it’s just a coincidence. And I still cry when I read it, every time.