Thursday, September 10, 2009
My letter(s) home on 9/12/01 w/ follow-ups or a lesson to be learned is to not take anything for granted, least of all your own sanity!
Everyone's talking about the 5th anniversary of 9/11.You hear all kinds of bullshit from the pundits and our so-called President Bush about whether we are "safe" or "safer", as if anything any of them says means a goddamn thing.So, here's what I wrote to my friends and family around the country (including many of you reading this now) in the immediate wake of the 9/11 attack on New York City. There's no influence from pundits, journalists, or politicians; just a no-BS assessment of what was going on through the eyes and ears of a young NYC Rock N' Roller living dangerously close to the front line. As I was writing this at the time, I had no idea how 9/11 would be expoited and used in vain,i.e., gratuitous wars, conspiracies both true and untrue, and convenient scams of every type (especially the Patriot Act and other erosions of our civil rights). All I knew was I'd never felt so awful in my life. One interesting tidbit was that Slayer's God Hates Us All album came out that very day...and interestingly, it was the only album I could listen to for a couple of weeks. I was so numb, it was the only music that made me feel anything...and the only one that seemed to make any sense. And if I sound like I come across as a complete batshit crackerjack in these emails, it's only because I was fucking terrified....but that's probably understood. Enough of my ranting.
Hello everyone.I am alive and well, at least physically. Inside, I've been on the verge of losing my mind since I woke up yesterday. I mean, how is a person supposed to react when there are flying bombs going off, destroying a landmark that you are accustomed to seeing daily, like a close friend, just a mile or two from the place you call home?!!!
For me...I feel my eyes welling up with bitter, angry tears sometimes...other times, I maintain my sense of humor...still others, I feel worried....and others, I feel (still) that nothing can stop me. There's a conflict.There's also a conflict of just WHY I feel this way....from the fact that probably tens of thousands of people are lying in the rubble dowtown, to more selfish reasons, such as not being able to work, play my music, and essentially, live my life. But, that shouldn't be too damn much to ask....For the second day in a row, I have an involuntary day off, so I decided to go down to my beloved East Village and get myself a coffee and maybe some sushi and try to regroup. Well, I got my coffee and ate my sushi, but there is some kind of faint haze in the air from 14th Street on down...consisting of dust and smoke, and what's rumored to be asbestos. I decided to get the hell out of there.
The streets from 14th Street on down are blocked off for automobiles....and everything south of Canal St. is evacuated.The streets are surprisingly calm...there are people about, but there is this uncertain, morose calm over most people that I see. Near Times Square yesterday, there was some two-bit sidewalk preacher telling us that the "Lord is coming."I felt the anger rising, and wanted to tell him that I felt that the "Lord" must have taken the day off, but I maintained my cool.I don't know what's going to happen, just as nobody does. I wonder if I have any friends who might've been in the WTC yesterday.
A couple of months ago, when my financial situation was at rock bottom, I took a job as a foot messenger, and made many deliveries, daily, to the financial district in lower Manhattan. To think that I might've gotten caught up in this if I hadn't gotten quickly sick of that utterly thankless job is a lot to fathom.The only thing I can tell you at this point, is that there isn't a lot that matters to me anymore, at least for the time being. All my mad passion and ambition for being a great musician, drummer, Rock N Roll star, and writer seems almost like a thing of the past. But, I think that's merely due to shock.But I didn't realize, at all, what a carefree life I've had for 20-odd years...until yesterday morning. Now I wonder if life will ever be the same. One thing that I've learned from all of this already is the bitter motivation that must have been prevalent amongst the American population during the first two World Wars. I've never lived in a war-torn era, but I'm deeply afraid that I'm about to. The Golf War, as I understood it at the time, was some rinky-dink little battle over control of oil. This...is REAL. I wouldn't mind kicking some Bin Laden ass, myself, after what he seems to have done! The front line is just a few miles down the road. And, I'm "Man" enough to admit that I'm scared. Do you remember when some kind of biological weapons were released in a Tokyo subway a couple of years ago? Well, I ride the subway every day...and so do millions of other people wearing the same worried face as myself.
But, the bottom line is, I guess I can't let this ruin my life if I can possibly avoid it. I still love this city and belong here...and probably feel that way even moreso since this shite has hit the fan. And I believe that someone up there, somewhere, despite my faults, is looking out for me.I deeply appreciate all of the calls and emails that I've gotten from everyone. Feel free to write anytime.
Now, we have some clowns calling in fake bomb threats. There was supposedly a bomb in the Empire State Building (4 blocks from my house) and consequently, they were evacuating Penn Station and routing all traffic off of 9th Avenue (which is where I live). It all turned out to be a hoax, and I was ready to hightail it out of my damn neighborhood. The sense of humor of some people leaves much to be desired.(later)Now there have been over 100 bomb scares in Manhattan...in the Empire State Building (again), Grand Central, Port Authority, and seemingly countless office buildings where friends of mine work. These were all either hoaxes or false alarms. The villains, in some ways have already won; they have instilled a paranoia that will last for a long time. Speaking of work, my office is closed until Monday, but...I really doubt that business is going to be good any time soon. The whole city now smells like smoke, and many people who are about are wearing some kind of gas masks, which I think look ridiculous, which wouldn't matter if I thought that they did much good.You know, just a few days ago, everything was great, and I was on top of the world. Now...that's all disappeared. Many of the great people I know are talking about hoping that the US destroys entire countries, and I find myself agreeing with this...but, I don't want to be this kind of person. There's a loss of any remaining innocence, decency, and mercy, in a lot of ways, and there's not a hell of a lot anyone can do about it.
I mean, down at Union Square, there are a bunch of people singing the Lennon song, "Give Peace a Chance." That sounds great, but I don't think that can happen, here in the real world. I'm sorry, but there is no chance, and I'm as sick about it as the next guy. When the hopes and dreams of most everyone I know have gone down the proverbial shitter, I can't find myself singing along. I never thought in my whole life that I'd say such a thing, but Rock N Roll doesn't really mean a damn thing to me at this particular moment, and Lennon, if he were here today, might very well agree with me.
The latest information that I've heard is that there have been several people caught with fake flight licenses and weapons at both JFK and LaGuardia...apparently, another hijacking or two may have been thwarted. These assholes don't know when to quit, do they? Just when flights are about to resume, these barbaric imbeciles have to add further insult to injury.Well, I'm going to ponder this over a beer....If anyone would like to write, please feel free....
Your good friend...