Okay. I just got a call from someone I dated briefly when I first moved to Los Angeles, nearly two years ago. She didn't know I got married. That's a fucked up conversation I just had. Time passes so quickly, five years ago the WTC went down, I was living in a basement apartment, dating someone else. I can't even think what I was doing ten years ago - probably heading to college after seeing Prince, actually (actually I just checked, I was off by a year and a couple weeks on that one). But my point is those five years have been the fastest of my life, and the last two have been crazy. But I think she wanted to do something tonight. Things ended... Okay I guess. She was heading to Colorado for some work related stuff for a couple of months, and after a couple of dates, there wasn't the connection there to keep us going with such an absence. When she got back into la there was that flurry of "we should do something" calls, and then nothing and then my wife.
The new house is great by the way. I'd say we're getting close to feeling settled.
Five years ago Autumn called me at four in the morning. She was going to see Radiohead in Germany, and the time difference was so fucked that if we were to talk at all, it was gonna be while I was sleeping. We talked briefly, but I couldn't rouse myself. Heading back to bed, I laid down and realized it was going to take some effort to get back to sleep, as by the time I got off the phone, I had woken up enough to have a conversation.
A couple hours or minutes later the phone rang again. I was slightly annoyed, honestly. Autumn wanted to tell me that a plane had flown into the World Trade Center. I was still sleepy, and couldn't really think about the words. I tried to calm her down, but I had no real idea what was going on, as my brain was already addled from the lack of sleep, and twice being woken up in the middle of the night. And so I went back to bed. But then I couldn't get any sleep, as again I had realized what we were talking about after I got off the phone. I woke up finally to Howard Stern. Everything was nuts on air, and Crazy Cabbie was watching the WTC going down, and I tried to wrap my head around the severity of what was going on. I got up at 7, most of the worst of it had already gone down, but no one knew that, and once peope figured out what had happened and why, no one was sure what would or could come next. I drove into work as my boss (whose wife was born on 9/11) and some of my coworkers were in Los Angeles for the week.
Driving in, it felt like a ghost town. Work was useless. I called my brother repeatedly, but the lines were jammed. He didn't live anywhere near downtown New York, but it'd be a bad day for him or his future ex-wife to be in town. I finally got through later in the afternoon. Everyone was glued to the radio, the few televisions (some which were bought that day), or the computer. The computer was my vice, and information trickled in. Then at 9:45, I left the office and headed over to the Fox Tower. That day it was my job to watch the Mariah Carrey film Glitter.
We went over to the theater, and everyone was acting in that same way of just complete and utter disconnectedness. The town was quiet. You wouldn't hear much of anything. And then we went in and dutifully watched the movie. Now, I own Glitter. I haven't watched it in five years, but there it is.
The rest of the day at work was a joke. I just read message boards and looked at footage of the towers going down of the net. I went to my friend DK's house and borrowed his advance copy of Phantom of the Paradise, because I wanted something to cheer me up. I went to the nearby Fred Meyers, bought a six pack of Bass (which their scanners would often ring up for $1.25) and remember being assaulted by the rows of televisions, playing endless repeats of the towers collapsing.
By that Friday, I saw two guys in the back of a pickup holding on to an American flag hanging awkwardly out of the back of the truck. It took roughly three days for real care and concern to be turned into jingoism and a grotesque patriotism that suggested we should all be proud to be Americans, instead of maybe just lucky or humble. That weekend I also watched Armageddon and King Kong. I, at least, enjoyed the latter.
That girl who didn't know I got married... I don't think it would have worked out had she been around. I think she knew it too. It just never got to bloom, so I don't know. But she did like being spanked, and that just did nothing for me. Nothing at all.