One September Walk

2004

I wasn’t there, though my spirit seeped through the television screen and ran mad through the city while tall, gray buildings that meant nothing to me yesterday poured into the ground over and over on replay, and it was impossible to see inside, through the walls that enclosed the greatest terror of all, walls that concealed from billions of viewers the faces and screams and cries and prayers made in horrified haste, and oh, how the floor must have shaken beneath their feet before finally, violently sinking, or how people surely fell down stairwells or burned in the fires or got stuck in the elevators or obliterated by the thrusting silver nose of a plane, or how those who leaped from windows could not scream or breathe against the roaring vacuum of wind that sucked their bodies faster and faster downward, and we can only speculate if it was the impact that actually killed them, for perhaps the horrible wind did it first, but either way, these flat, human sails as we saw them (for they seemed to fall slower from a distance) were the only visible lives outside the great, collapsing boxes that kept the maddening suspension of inevitable death of over two thousand people secret, and so it is replayed because really, no one was there

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