Hard to believe it’s been eighteen years since the September 11 attacks.
I was there that day, standing on my roof in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. My then-girlfriend called from work and told me a plane had hit the Trade Centre. I almost didn’t believe her, but when I got up on the roof, there was the smoke trailing out of the North Tower and into the bright morning sky. My best friend, John, was staying with us at the time, and he and I sat in our boxer shorts and watched the horror unfold. We were both hungover. It was New York Fashion Week, and we’d been bouncing around parties and bars the night before. At one party, we were taking turns pretending to hump an oblivious Billy Zane from behind. Then we did his dog. I’ve never laughed so hard in my life. And the next day was one of the worst in human history. When the second tower fell, we went inside and watched CNN. Then friends started coming over; some brought beer. The subways were shut down and cars weren’t allowed on or off Manhattan island, so my girlfriend and thousands of other Brooklyners made their way home across the bridges on foot.
When the sun began to set, a group of us went to the local bar. It felt like a mausoleum. All the bars did. They were silent and filled with dumbstruck city workers, covered in dust and cuts, and all staring up at the televisions, drinking themselves numb. They looked like ghosts.
Anyway, I’ve written about 9/11 a bunch before, so I won’t go on. I just wanted to mark the day, and also direct your attention to this brilliant 2016 Esquire article about The Falling Man.