When you stop looking

WARNING: This is a melancholy post, so if you’re looking for something fun, click away now.

I realized yesterday that I don’t look for the Twin Towers anymore.

I’m not sure when this happened. I’m not sure how this happened.

Before September 11, 2001, I would drive over a certain crest of a highway and scan the horizon for the towers. They were the only part of New York City that I could see from my area of NJ. They were a fixed point. A constant. I didn’t remember a time when they weren’t there.

I drove over that section of highway on September 11, 20o1 not long after the second tower fell, and I remember how the traffic slowed as we crested that hill and took in the gaping hole in the horizon and the smoke that tried to fill it.

For years afterward my eyes would travel to that spot out of habit. I wasn’t looking for the hole, I was looking for the constant…which was no longer there. Eventually I learned to expect to see the nothingness when my eyes flicked in that direction.

Now I no longer look for anything. I’m  not sure when it happened. When did the habit drift away like the smoke?

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5 thoughts on “When you stop looking

  1. Joann says:

    What a lovely post (melancholy or not). I never had the opportunity to see the towers – a regret I wish I could change. I think, over time, we adapt and get used to things the way they are now, even sometimes forgetting life was any different. My hometown has changed so much and it’s only because I get back there so rarely that I notice how different everything is.

  2. This is sad, but beautiful. Like Joann said, we adapt. And I think that’s a good thing. When I think of home, I no longer think of Toronto. But I think this a good thing, because it used to make me homesick.

  3. RunnerGirl says:

    …….I still look 😦 probably since I was in the smoke that day ( 5 blocks away).
    Your post did not make me sad though —I think its a lovely post.
    I think I would rather have the “hole” than the new towers though.

  4. Excellent post. I rarely had an opportunity to see the towers, and I’m not sure I’d know where to look for them anymore, but I know I’ll never forget.

  5. It was a lovely post. I don’t know about the hole in the horizon and how it would effect me. I do know I still can’t see images of the towers without wanting to cry. (Stupid ‘Friends’ tv show – always showing the old NY skyline). I suppose eventually this feeling will pass. I went through the 9th anniversary of my dad’s death without blinking this year. I guess after a while a callous grows over the pain.

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