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10 Sept. 2017 23.15

When, after some weeks, I was able to get to my little post office on Pine Street to fetch my mail, I got off the train, walked the blocks from Broadway, through the grey dust, breathing in the specks and stench of electric fire and remnants of The Trade Centre. There was grey dust, soot and ash, 12 inches deep and more in the gated entry-ways of closed buildings. It all looked like a post war photo. People walked about with sullen, blank stares.

By the time I got to the post office, I was trembling, needing so much to sob. My hand shook as I put the key into the lock on my post office box. In the little box was a notice: too much mail, come to the window.

At my turn, I stepped up to the counter, handed the clerk the notice. He took it, turned away and went to fetch my mail.

When he returned to the counter, he placed a small bundle of envelopes and such on the counter and smiled, as he usually did.

I looked into his eyes. “It’s good to see you.” I said, quietly.

His eyes welled with tears over his smile. “It’s good to see you too.” he replied.

“We’re still here.” I said, holding my voice steady.

“Yes we are.” he almost whispered. “Some of us… Yes we are.”

“See you tomorrow then.” I smiled.

“See you tomorrow. Thank you.” he replied.

● There are some things in life that can never be “un-done”:
The ringing of a bell,
the creaking of an old door,
the singing of a song,
the first chirp of a bird in the earliest morning hour,
a baby’s first cry,
the utterance of the words “I love you”
and the vivid memories of the morning of 11 September 2001…
the days that followed…
the stench of burnt buildings…
and people
in the New York City air…
and all the years there-after.

● My photos and Journal of that day and of the subsequent days are gone, stolen. But the images in my mind, heart and soul are as brilliantly vivid today as they were the moment they occurred. These can never be stolen… nor will they ever be forgotten. How strange, but even now I can still smell and taste that acrid soot-filled air.