Returning Home on September 11, 2001
Friday, September 09, 2011
On the morning of September 11, I was in midtown Manhattan, so I walked south – downtown. There I encountered the wave of refugees walking north, people still wearing white breathing masks, people in suits covered head to toe in dust and soot.
And finally, after an eight mile hike, I arrived home to my wife and kids Brooklyn, where our little backyard was covered in scraps of paper – some pocked as if by shrapnel, some charred around the edges, pages of books and bits of business documents.
There was a memo to a contractor working on an electrical upgrade for the Twin Towers, and a loose-leaf page about fire doors…all of which had blasted out of the World Trade Center, then drifted over New York Harbor and down into my backyard.
I'm a writer. So on September 12th I got back to work, and started writing an essay about those strange, moving fragments of other people's lives, delivered to me from the sky.
- Kurt Andersen