(The events of this day were so momentous I felt that I needed to write them down. Here goes nothing.)
I have been thinking on the whole train ride home how to start this off. I could start it w/ the 911 attack thing but I don't think I will. Suffice it to say that it was hell. Alot of people don't realize how affected I was by it or why it affected me the way it did. That's okay. It's a pretty tough thing to understand unless you have some kind of personal connection to it. I know a few people have been worried about the way I've been acting, but it's officially post traumatic stress disorder, so I guess I have a reason. For the past two months I haven't been myself. Between crying jags, bouts of hysterical laughter, a tendancy to sleep at the drop of a hat and an inexplicable urge to beat the living shit out of anyone, it's been pretty normal. Anyway, this week I've been in New Jersey, spending time with my family who's just as messed up over the whole thing as I am. So there's the background.
Today my aunt Sean and I went into the city for the first time. We were supposed to go Wednesday, then Thursday, but she was nervous and kept putting it off. Not that I blame her. We were talking about it last night and uncle Kevin said not to go downtown, she'd be a basket case for two months and if you got down wind the smell was beyond horrible, which only made her more nervous.
This morning we caught the train (whichever the one after the 10:10 was) into NY. We were actually joking a little about going to G.0 and throwing up or crying. She asked me what to do first, go shopping in Chinatown and Little Italy or go downtown.
"Well," I said, "We can either go downtown, throw up, and ruin the rest of the day, or we can go shopping, go later, throw up, and ruin the rest of our night." She laughed, and we joked about buying personal buckets. You know, I find it kind of helps to joke around a little. That and we're two crazy ducks.
She called her friend Toni who lives on Pearl St., thinking that maybe we could hook up with her, but she had to go to a wake or something :(.
The train pulled into Penn, and we got off, got subway tokens, bought a nice bouquet of flowers and headed downtown. The train we took was the one I took to Brooklyn by accident last time (lol.) We got off at a Wall St. station that was really nice, all Arabian Nights-looking, that neither of us had been in before. We walked out onto Pine St, aunt Sean telling me all things like “I used to work in this building” and all these different stories, which was cool. We found a little Catholic church, went in, looked around and said a prayer. Then she showed me the outside of the NYSE, which was cool, we got to see all the floor people in their blue jackets smoking cigarettes and looking all sorts of blasé. From there we went over to Trinity, went in and lit some candles and said some more prayers. Then we left and started to walk up the street.
The next street was bad. We could see the one remaining wall of the tower, and giant cranes with the American flag attached. We started exchanging stories with a cop, who was from Queens and volunteers there three days a week. I guess they put all the nice cops where the people are, so they can talk and answer questions and stuff. We stood there for awhile, looking at the memorials and wreckage. There was a horrible sadness there. And it did smell pretty bad, kind of like the ruins in B’ville- the same acrid stench that burns your nose.
There were all these tourists there, taking pictures. Ghouls, all of them. I wonder how they would feel if I went into one of their family funerals and started laughing and chatting and snapping my camera?
We went down to Dey St. and that was where it was the worst. You could get right in close, and actually see the droplets of water they were spraying on the remains of a building to keep the dust down. The whole thing was blown out, and it was brutal to watch the wrecking ball hit. I was crying for a little while, but I stopped after I was able to move closer. We got all the way up to the barricades. I got a little dizzy and I guess it showed, cause someone behind me kind of pushed my shoulder and steadied me. (Thanx, whoever you are, if you read this.) I was standing behind my aunt, and I looked over to my right, and I saw this sad little bush in a planter. All the soil around it was dry and it was all broken. Somehow this mad me very very sad, so I poured my bottle of water in to water it. Then I felt better. (Yes, I am fully aware that this is mostly sentence fragments and run on sentences, but I don’t give a damn.)
When we got to the top of the street we were accosted by people from a prayer station. I had seen one walking down the street and thought it very odd. These people talk to you and pray for you, which I thought was very nice of them, although it was a little disconcerting. John and Chad prayed for us, and we found out they’re from Sacramento. (Hi guys, if you read this.)
We went down to another section then, and we stood there for awhile. Aunt Sean was fascinated by a slow moving squirrel. I was holding the flowers, and we decided to find a fireman to take them as close to the site as possible for us. We saw seven or so NYFD go through, but couldn’t get a hold of them to ask, so finally we asked a construction worker to take them in for us. We told him how our cousin was a fireman who died there, and could you please find a fireman and ask him or her to take this as close as possible, etc. It was eerie; as we were speaking a crowd of tourists gathered around to watch and listen. Some lady took my picture, and that pissed me off. Grrr.
Mission accomplished, we started walking again, looking at more memorials and signing a couple of them. St. Paul’s was closed to the public but there was a giant sign that said “Foot Care” and it was somehow very funny to us. It felt good to laugh at something so dumb, even if it really isn’t a dumb thing.
From there we walked over to Pearl St.
Aunt Sean: That’s Toni’s building.
“ “ : No, it’s that one.
“ “ : No, it’s that one over there.
I think we finally found her building but I’m not sure. Anyway we went left and walked under the Brooklyn Bridge into Chinatown. (You know I’ve never walked under there before? Crazy, huh.)
Chinatown was fun, a lot more so than we expected because we were actually feeling better about the whole Thing. Closure or something, I don’t know. We went to Mr. Tang’s for lunch, which is a great American-Chinese restaurant there. Then we went shopping. I saw a big Nsync poster- hee hee! We bought lots of stuff. Here’s some inventory.
1 pork bun (me)
1 black bean cake (me- although the lady had to check with her boss before she gave it to me cause it was a special wedding cake or something, it had a heart on it)
1 name painting (me- “feather” spelled in birds and a panda)
1 name painting (Sean- for Alex)
1 necklace (me- for Kelsey)
2 fans (sandalwood, me and Sean)
1 funny skullcap (for James)
1 box of almond cookies, egg custards, pork buns 4 ea. (Sean)
Lots of funny candy (both of us. I tried to get her to try the dried fried squid candy but she wouldn’t.)
Then we walked to Mulberry St. and went to Ferrara’s Bakery. I’ve been trying to find it for years * grumble * but never could cause I only knew what the inside looked like and I didn’t know the name. We got cakes and coffee. Sinful, but wonderful. Then we went to this cheese store, De Paulo’s, on the corner. I got Provolone for my dad cause he bitches about not getting good stuff in CNY. Maybe this’ll shut him up. They guys said “Is that fine and enough?” or something to me in Italian and I told him I really couldn’t remember any Italian, since I haven’t spoken it since I was little. He yelled at me and said it’s like driving a car, you never forget it! You’re just rusty! LMAO I hope he’s right. He was a nice guy. I told him Grazie, ciao, and we left.
We went to another little bakery were I got my beloved tri colored cakes and a marzipan tomato (!) and then we went to yet another church.
This was a Franciscan church and it was so incredibly Italian. I fell in love with it. Statues and electronic candles all over the place! It was dope, if a church can be described as such. I found a St. Dymphna* medal (!!!) and I got a purple rosary. A. Sean wanted one too, but they only had one purple, no St. John medals, and she had to settle for pink. We decided that Nov. 16th would be Rosary day and we’ll just switch every year. This year I get purple and she has pink, next year I’ll have pink and she’ll get the purple, so on and so forth. I’m turning Roman Catholic, I tell you. Lol.
(* St. Dymphna is the patron saint of lunatics and my confirmation/patron saint. She’s not well known so I was excited to find this medal.)
Basically after that we went home. I left a lot of the jokes and stuff out of this because it’s late and I’m tired and I have to go to my grandmother’s house in a few hours. Here’s a snynopsis.
“The ducks are stepping in grace? What?!?”…“Caketh! Delectable caketh!”… “Rawr!”… “I’m so dizzy!”… “Will Lance approve?!?!?”… “That guy who looks like Joey is staring at my ass!”
and of course,
“FUCK YOU ALL!!!! FUCK YOU ALLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!”
You can ask Aunt Sean about that one. * wink *
Oh yeah, and we bought flashing religious pictures outside of Penn Station. A. Sean got a flashing Last Supper and I got a flashing Our Lady of Fatima. LMAO, it’s classic.
But you know what’s great? I’m going to be okay now. The only way to go from here is up- I feel better already, just because the sky is blue and there’s still pigeons to chase. Aunt Sean feels better too, and she’s no more a basket case than usual :) . God bless American and all that. And to hell with stupid songs. Okay, have you had enough yet? Lol… I have. Night all.