Cheetahs and Hyenas are examples of convergent evolution. Cheetahs are cats with doglike characteristics and Hyenas are dogs with catlike characteristics. I never thought I would see squirrels and pigeons assume ratlike characteristics. Only in this town. But squirrels are just tree rats and pigeons will eat anything. A pigeon is now rooting for food in the clothes and hair of a sleeping homeless guy in front of me on the grass, pecking at his head and face but not disturbing his sleep.
At least this is what I was thinking about an hour ago when it happened. Have you ever been hit hard in the head? Knocked stupid? That’s what happened and now I recover enough to see that there is a wind whistling down the corridor as though from above, sending papers through the hall. On the other side of a barrier are the dead and dying and screaming and somehow I vault over the barrier and into the stairwell.
BTW, I don’t work here. I just came in to take a leak. You ever try to find a public bathroom in NYC?
Thousands around me, all fighting panic and blinded by the crap in the air. This way is down, they keep saying. A woman brushes by me carrying what looks like a computer keyboard clutched to her chest. There is an awful stink and I think it is me. Glass shrapnel and blood. Something oily on my skin that I think must be jet fuel. All mixing in a pate’ of body waste.
I’m outside. Smoke covering the sky that was so bright this AM. Fire trucks sitting abandoned with their flashers going. Someone rushes by with a stretcher. Glass splinters and shards in my skin. Out on the street someone hands me a bottle of water. People slinking by like medieval felons. A man running by, screaming like a poisoned duke.
A shirt with its sleeves raised to the heavens sidles down in maudlin benediction. My feet carry me forward but IDK where. Both towers are burning. A drumming rumble and smoke from the top of one tower. The size of it, the sheer mass. The way it sways and leans. The south tower diving into the smoke.
A blast of air sends us to the ground, smoke and ash pummeling us and the daylight is gone. Running and falling and trying to get up. Rubble is underfoot and motion everywhere, people and objects flying past., things I cannot name. Lost shoes and wallets. It isn’t a street anymore but another planet, world, universe of falling ash and paltry light. Smoke rolling down the street and turning corners. Tides of smoke displacing tides of light, paper and office things whipping past in this furious gulf. Figures in the air a thousand feet up dropping into space.
When I cross Canal Street the sound of the second fall reaches me. I don’t remember anything else until I am standing in front of the brownstone. I have no home now and the only thing like a family left to me is inside. Home is where when you have to go there they have to take you in? Bullshit. Not my family. Nobody gives you anything. Nobody owes you nothing. I start up the steps and pause. Then I go back to the street and keep on walking.