Monday, September 12, 2011
It's safe to assume that every New Yorker can remember in great detail where they were and what they were doing on September 11, 2001. I wonder how many can remember the following day, 9/12, beyond staring helplessly at a television screen. I can remember 4PM vividly.
I thought about this yesterday as I avoided at all costs, all of the televised events surrounding the 10th anniversary and the memorial services in downtown NYC, Washington, and Shanksville. After morning coffee, breakfast and the Times crossword, I turned on the stereo at 10:AM and never looked back. I listened to new records by Eric Clapton & Wynton Marsalis, Chris Isaak, The Horrible Crowes, Jonathan Wilson and Laura Marling. Old records by the Jim Jones Revue, Al Kooper, Emmylou Harris, Be Bop Deluxe, Nick Lowe, and Todd Rundgren. And a live bootleg of Prince.
While this music marathon filled the house, I watched the Eagles vs. the Rams, the Yankees vs. Los Angeles, and the Jets vs. Dallas, sound off, of course. I also checked email and Facebook where I knew I would not be able to avoid the talk and memories of 9/11/01. That's when it hit me.
At 4PM, on 9/12/01, I got up from the couch, where I had been sitting frozen in disbelief for the better part of 6 hours, and shouted out loud, "I can't take this anymore!" I shut the TV, and threw the remote across the room. I poured some whiskey and cracked open a beer, turned on the stereo and put on a Black Crowes bootleg I had brought home from my store a few days earlier. I screamed angrily at the CD player, as if it had anything to do with any of this. "Fuck this! I'm listening to music"
Something wasn't right with me. I couldn't bring myself to turn it up. It felt as if the world was watching me disrespect the entire country. After about 2 minutes into the first song, I shut the stereo off. I wasn't enjoying the music. I was furious. I felt my body tremble and I began to heat up. I threw the CD across the room and the case shattered into pieces. I turned the TV back on and sat down. I remained on the couch, pouring whiskey until I fell asleep sometime after 10PM. 9/12/01 was the first and last day I can remember not wanting to listen to music. The day before, I had been at my store. The music played as the day turned into nightmare.
Everyone has a story. Some need to deal with these events by wrapping every cell in their bodies around every newscast, tribute, and string-laden sad song. Others, want to move on. My friend Gene wrote a wonderful piece that I hope you all take the time to read. It's HERE. It's what inspired me to write a few words here this morning.
Now, for me, it's time to move on.