Vanadia

NYC Stories

Anonymous

1st class is at 9:30..
off the 2 train at 9:35
people are running in the street
something’s wrong

i look up
at my familiar friends
theyre on fire
oh god

smells like smoke
screaming sirens
screaming people
with fear on their faces
“its gonna fall”
someone shouts

oh sh*t

im scared now
vision getting blurry
shaking hands
try to dial dad
the crowd is parting for me it seems
i dont have to look up
no service

im coughing and crying
on the sidewalk
a man asks if im alright
hes standing with some people
looking up
theyre clearly all strangers
become comrades
in a time of mass confusion

i told him about my mom
she works there sometimes
please say shes not up there
trapped
burning up
i didnt speak to her today

have you spoken to her?
the man asked
he put his hand on my shoulder
hes a stranger
but feels like dad

“you can see them jumping”
somebody said.
i looked
up there
a gaping hole
torn metal
fire raging out of windows
its hell on earth
there were people
jumping out
slowly tumbling
humans
people
with families
and thoughts
ideas
goals
and theyre going to die now
theyre dead now
imagine
imagine how bad it must be inside
to make someone jump out

groups of people
holding hands
jumping
falling
i cried for them
witnessing their last moments

a rumble
crashing glass
the street gasped
our stomachs dropped
the tower
the indestructable tower
giving way
in slow motion
collapsed

baby steps into the nearest open store
a pub
im shaking still
tears still
trembling voice
“can i use your phone”
the bartender dials for me
gives me the phone
and a glass of water
dad says mom is safe
uptown
and he spoke to her

exhale

now i know what really matters

09.17.01

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