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?