Tuesday, September 10, 2013

On looking down the Hudson River

September 10, 2013

HOBOKEN – I didn’t always feel this way around this river.
Sometimes, I don’t feel the horror at all, except this time of year when I stared across the water at the old space refilled with a new shape after more than a decade of empty space there.
After coming back from the dentist yesterday, the image of a vacant grin greets me, as if some bully has punched New York City in the face. And no matter how hard the dentist works to replace the missing teeth, the smile just isn’t the same.
I used to spend a lot of time on Pier A prior to the attack, absorbing the tidal surges of this larger river after having spent most of my life absorbing the lesser urges of smaller rivers like the Passaic.
This river is vast and grand, but never intimate – until that day when the water reflected the two towers and the smoke belching out of them, and then did not reflect them any more.
Sometimes, I still see their reflection when I look down stream from where I stand today; it is an illusion, a bit of wishful thinking, a memory of a thing long pat, which I need to somehow preserve, even when I hated what the two towers represented. Somehow, removing them with the associated slaughter is not an answer and I mourn something unrelated to me as I would the loss of a member of my family, feeling an assault that I should not feel, and being here, staring out, I felling the old pain renewed, and still have no answer for it – like a cure that is worse than the disease of greed it attempted to cure. There is no excuse for it.
Most times, I simply feel the loss of something, and will always associate that feeling with this river.

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