I had to be all the way downtown at 4:30 a.m. the other day and was shocked at what I found. Rather than the emptiness I expected, the financial district was packed with people. There was even a bride and groom preparing to take a picture at sunrise.
It began on the train where I couldn’t get a seat. The changing of the guard, as it’s called, was in full swing. Granted, quite a few passengers were sleeping, but still, at that early hour, I had to actually stand.
When I got off at the Bowling Green stop so did thirty others, some heading to the ferry but most of them already going to their offices. Was I rightfully impressed.
There were also newspaper trucks and garbage pick-ups, restaurant deliveries and men sweeping the sidewalk. If I had any qualms over being safe they left me quickly.
New York I forget has her own pulse. When I think this was a heartbeat away from where the World Trade Center once stood, I can hardly believe it. Fear is the last thing one feels. There’s spirit in its stead that soars overhead where those planes did so much memorable damage.
I’m sometimes asked how not only can I still live here, but how can I go near where so many innocent people perished? They were merely going to work, same as me, never dreaming of what was about to happen. Aren’t I afraid? What if it occurs again while I’m down there.
It’s not that I don’t think of that terrible day especially when I am in the vicinity…how could you not, but I’m just like every other New Yorker. We live here…Manhattan…it’s in our blood and hard to shake once it gets in there. I pray Al Qaeda leaves us be, but like everyone else living within her shores, New York’s home and she seems to take care of her own…
even at 4 a.m. on a Thursday morning. Like the man dropping off the New York Times to the massive office building I was waiting in front of who kindly offered me a copy. “Here Miss, have a read while you wait for whoever.”
I did, and on the front page, what do you know, there was a nationwide terrorist alert. Was I scared? No, just read it as I sipped my coffee waiting for my peers to arrive.
After all, what will be will be and if my number is up, it doesn’t much matter where I live, now does it?
Lightening (or a plane) could strike anywhere.