Variety of Anxieties

by Hakim

October 16, 2001

I have been suffering from writer’s block since the terror attacks on the United States and particularly my home city New York on September 11th. Like most all I can seem to think about is what’s next and I try to communicate and be around my family and friends as much as possible nowadays. Sometimes I feel like a terminally ill patience and I’m sure a lot of other folks are feeling the same way. I have been doing things I find fun and always wanted to do as if the things that I like to do won’t be around tomorrow.

I watched the Twin Towers fall in living color. That’s what real Nu Yawkas used to call the mile high sky scrapers here in the EnWhy, of course better known as the World Trade Center. So far I have heard so much about the 300 or so firefighters and police officers who lost their lives that dreadful day and nothing about the average Jane and John Doe who never made it home. I’m referring to the janitors and the elevator attendants the secretaries and office assistants that get to work earlier than their corporate counterparts that drag in at 11:30 after an early brunch. How about the securities guards and mail attendants and messengers, food deliverers and computer staffers who for the most part are all people of color. As the media glamorizes the boys in blue and brave firefighters and indeed they are brave I bow my head and pray for those not mentioned. And I wish them a peaceful journey to the afterlife.

I have been suffering from insomnia brought on by a variety of anxieties. I get so angry sometimes and then scared then angry again then apprehensive and unsure. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m paranoid but I’m more aware of my surroundings and always find the most accessible access to exits and a plan b in case of a underground subway attack or a bomb scare at work. I mean being a native New Yorker I have a heightened sense of awareness naturally but now a muthf*cka is like Peter Parker with Spider senses.

As for life in New York, it’s quieter. Eerily serene, folks have lost the 1000-yard stare that plagued the city right after the attacks but now have a glow of defense in their eyes. People don’t read the newspapers or books on the subway anymore. They sit or stand and simply pay attention. School kids no longer blast their Walkman Disc players or talk loudly after being forced to lose a chunk of their innocence and grow up even faster than they already do. I see a lot of Middle Eastern “looking” people wearing the American flag pins and the red, white and blue ribbons as if only to shout out at their suspicious onlookers, “I’m one of you!” This new era of awareness and "war" will be a true test for all humanity, don’t get it twisted.

It’s sad but a true cliché indeed life does go on and where it stops nobody knows. Indeed Puffy “Won’t stop.” Jermaine Dupre is still the ugliest man in show bizness, Michael Jackson is “Invincible” again. Jordan is set to prove that there is still a little air left in him, Bush is still a f*ckin babbling idiot, Michael Keaton in “Betelgeuse” still cracks a brother up and I undoubtedly still get on my Mothers “last nerve.”

Yesterday I sat back and enjoyed yet another huge Yankees Victory and drunk a Smirnoff Ice cooler. Two days ago I took in a Sunday afternoon movie with a good friend and ordered takeout. I ate and laid back with my hand on my stomach and smoked a cigar listening to the newest installment by Maxwell. I stared at the ceiling in my two bedroom flat a few miles north of “Ground Zero” as if I could see through the five floors above me and straight into the crisp and clear Autumn evening sky. I saw the stars that have guided generations, the one sure thing that can’t be taken away from us by acts of terror. I connected the dots until the stars stood tall and regal like the fallen Twin Towers. The stars twinkled like lights being turned off and on by the folks who lost their lives and left their love ones behind on that September 11th, 2001. Off and on the lights twinkled like Morse code and they said…

Life Is Good.


Manhattan, New York
10 city blocks from "Ground Zero"
October 16, 2001

Since September 11 my job has had 8 bomb threats or scares. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority System has had 22 bomb threats that I’ve witnessed. I was in transit three times a threat occurred, the entire station was emptied. When the first threat occurred a man left his briefcase unattended to buy a train token during rush-hour and the police flew into action after being notified by a suspecting passenger.

Anthrax has hit Washington, New York and Florida. 1 person dead another reported in bad health. 1 eight-month-old child contracted the skin version of the deadly virus. Hundreds are now on Cipro, the antibiotic that neutralizes the disease. The Government has not admitted a connection between the attacks on the 11th.

Taliban offers to give up Osama bin Laden, Feds say no deal. Iraqi Officials still won't allow inspectors from the United Nations in to check if they are complying with the Gulf War Sanctions. NATO dedicates its services to the Untied States home defense. 4000 people are feared never to be recovered from the ruins of the WTC. New York City will now fill yearns with soil from the site and give it to the grieving families. Tens of thousands are unemployed and attending a job fare at Grand Central Station for WTC employees who lost their jobs after the attacks. A man dropped a light bulb on a crowded street and everyone within earshot froze. 200 innocent Afghani people have been reported killed in the on-going U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan: Operation Enduring Freedom--As America now holds a whole country hostage--the irony.

Variety of Anxieties by Hakim

© Copyright 2001. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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