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Zuccotti Park

Sitting on a set of stairs at Zuccotti Park, one block away from the WTC, 9:15 am, on Sept. 11, 2013. It’s been a while since I was in New York on Sept. 11. Twelve years ago I was here, running and weaving my way up to midtown. Two years ago, on the 10th anniversary, that day felt both far away, and close. Today though, it feels like a lifetime, like the time between 10 years and 12 years got stretched. Life events probably do that to you. Getting married. Having a son. I’ve been lucky.

Sept. 11 was of course, a day where the already fine line between life and death shrunk. Today, on these steps, with that day firmly in the rearview mirror, I’m impressed with the number of people either remembering, or trying to understand. A woman gives a faux-interview to a girl who just moved here, who wants to know more about the vibe, “New Yorkers, they always bounce back.” A Japanese girl carries a tripod as big as her, doing amateur documentaries.

Tourists walk by with neutral expressions, as if overt expressions are considered excessive. A woman calls over to a cop, “Officer, I think that girl over there is sick.” The cop reassures her, “No, maam, they’re reading the names, she’s just a little sad.” A man in a fireman’s uniform, slim and aged, sits with a pained expression. He exhales softly, eyebrows tight, locked in a faraway memory. Amongst the shadows of all of these grandiose buildings, the real reflecting pool is here, in the collective memories that float throughout.

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