Litkicks Message Board Archive

My gradual awakening

Posted to Poetry and Politics

My car broke down on the morning of the 9/11 attacks. I was on my way to work. I had it towed to a shop and called my wife's real cousin, Chris (Mark in my stories) to give me a ride home, which he did.

When we got out of the van at his house, these two women who lived next door told us, "The World Trade Center was hit by an airplane!" We said, "WHAT..blah blah..." and went inside to watch it on TV.

I was stunned and didn't write anything or even go to Litkicks for about two months. It just freaked me out. Here's the worst part: During the first two weeks, something inside me kept saying, "We don't know who did it, but goddammit, we will peg some nation and figure out a way to link them to it, and we will tell them, 'If it wasn't you then you know WHO IT WAS. And if it happens again, we will blow YOU up! So you'd better tell your neighbors and allies, DON'T DO ANYTHING ELSE, or we'll BLOW YOU UP, godammit!"

I wish I didn't think this, but I did, because I was scared.

First and foremost I wanted my wife and son to be safe.

I sent Levi Asher an e-mail asking if he was alright. I think I sent this only a day or two after the tragedy. I'm not sure.

When I finally started writing on Litkicks again, I didn't say much about 9/11.

When I went to New York in August 2002 for a Litkicks event, I didn't speak to anyone about 9/11. I thought about going to ground zero the day after the Litkicks event, but I was almost out of gas, didn't know where a gas station was, and it took a long time just to drive a couple of blocks around 42nd street where my hotel was located. So I opted to jettison out through the Lincoln Tunnel and head back to Florida.

As I gradually settled back into Literary Kicks, I was amazed at the majority of people who opposed the war with Iraq, including Levi himself. This New York native who had more reason than I to be pissed, he was calling for peace. That really made an impression on me.

Anyone who has made it to the end of my short story "Time Fades Into Next" will se how I feel about politics and world events. Or at least how I've felt for the last 12 years or so. But I might be slowly gaining some interest.