They call it Patriot Day here and I think “how dare you” take this day from me and every New Yorker, and give it to the Tea Party and people who think patriotism is waving a flag while singing a song and praying.
Yes I know you suffered and I know some of you knew people and even had relatives who died. I lived in a city that never was going to be quite the same.
My life was taken from me that day only I wasn’t to know that for awhile, maybe years. I got it back, hopefully a stronger better life. But the life I had then was filled with hope and a certain naive belief in people.
I thought most people were inherently good. I don’t anymore. I see evil where before I would have seen sickness. Maybe that’s better for me. Maybe I’m now a realist.
I had a mother that day and I loved her much very much. A month later she was gone.
But I’m still here. And my mother’s only granddaughter has taken my place in Manhattan. She’s thrilled by the possibilities; she’s taking Manhattan and making it her own as I once did and the generations keep rolling….
I miss my Manhattan. The Manhattan of flower stores brimming out to the street with colorful flavorful bouquets and bushes. Card shops where the owners flirt with me but don’t want me (wrong sex) so I easily flirt back. The Manhattan of so many clubs; some with incredible bathrooms, others with stinky toilets.
I loved that Manhattan. It was my city, mine and to prove that I would run into friends at almost every avenue and many streets. I walked those streets like a hooker on a binge, and maybe I was. Only my binge lasted thirty years! Thirty incredible years where fireworks would be lit in Central Park just for me as it was my birthday! And the whole city would celebrate along with me.
You can’t buy great memories. You can only remember them and I do–from a distance. But not so secretly I scream “New York you still own me. You always will. Always.”