When I think of the Twin Towers I don't think of 911...I compartmentalize what happened that terrible day in my memory separate from my actual memories of the world trade center and what it meant to me as a New Yorker. I won't elaborate much on it except to say that to me they were a reminder that everything was within my reach, that my birthright, as a resident of that city, was greatness. That if one put their mind to it, one could accomplish anything was more than just a bromide, it was a credo. I mean, here were these monuments to that very premise, two towering testaments to the truths I held dear.
I used to just ride my bike to the Promenade in Brooklyn Heights, alone, late at night, sit on a bench, spark up something uplifting, and gaze at that magnificent skyline...listen to it tell me what I wanted to hear, allow the power of those towers to cajole me away from complacency and underachievement. They whispered to me that I was important, that I too had a statement worth hearing. They infused me with a, yes, often false sense of accomplishment, of relevance. And I loved them for it.
For I, too, was a denizen of that den of iniquity, drunk on the same spirits that those others New Yorkers were-- the Mona Lisas and Madhatters Elton John sang of-- operating under the same operating principles, the same delusions of grandeur, of supremacy, of the inevitability of upward mobility. It was in the promise that those towers illuminated that I rejoiced, in windows that never went dark, in lights that never grew dim...in majesty that would never bow, and never yield. Never.