Eight

I'm glad it's raining today. I'm cold and my feet are wet and it's going to be a long, sleepy day, but that's so much better than having that feeling of fear and nausea clawing at my stomach all day in the background the way it has every year this day is sunny and crisp.

Friends in California were talking about the fires last week, and how it just smells like smoke everywhere, and I immediately flashed back to the smell of the flaming towers, burning flesh and metal. I said that, and another friend--who lived in New York eight years ago but doesn't now--said he hadn't thought about it in years, but as soon as I mentioned it the smell came back to his nose and punched him in the gut.

There are some things that never go away, I guess. The anger is one of them. I'm still angry whenever I take my damn shoes off at airport security. This is all we've got? Seriously? You're telling me that the best security the United States of America can throw at this is underpaid, undertrained hourly employees and making me run my shoes through the x-ray machine. OK, then.

And the sadness. That it happened, and that we don't seem to have learned a whole lot that we're applying to internal politics or foreign relations.

My church moved to a new space in 7 World Trade, right next to the hole. So I walk past the hole every Sunday, and I observe that all it is anymore is a hole. With no plans that we know about to build anything there. Too much in-fighting and politics. So it's just a big hole, with an ugly blue fence around it.

Back when it was still raw and exposed and fresh, we thought this was a turning point. That we were learning a lesson that would never leave us, about loss and unity and progress and healing and strength. (I think of the optimism I had on September 11 last year...)

But all it is is a hole.

We should be doing better. In so many ways.

Where do we start?

(In memory of Colleen Supinski, coworker and friend, who died September 11, 2001.)