The following article was written and posted by a New Yorker who is a message-board member of Car Parts, Bottles and Cutlery, a web site for fans of BjÃ¶rk GuÃ°mundsdÃ³ttir.
Today was the first sort of semi-regular weekday since. But there wasn't anything regular about it.
I mean, the Stock Market took the biggest single day fall in history, and nobody really even mentioned it. I remember back in 1989 when they pre-empted the Geraldo show I was appearing on to give word that the Dow Jones fell over 400 points. Never did get to see that episode of Geraldo.
As I walked around the city, doing my "usual" weekday jobs and errands, there was a different sense. The people who knew each other seemed closer. And those that didn't, might have seemed a bit more distant.
There's a distinct sense that we don't want to disturb each other. Truck drivers don't honk their horns. Cabbies are keeping an extremely low profile.
But most of all, it's quiet. You don't hear the chatter of tourists' voices on the street. There are fewer cars and buses on the avenues. You don't hear the discussions on subways. People don't make eye contact now, not so much because they're afraid of you, but more because they're afraid they'll start crying.
Even seasoned newsman Dan Rather burst into tears twice on the Letterman show. This ache is deep. Some hack dentist pulled out our wisdom teeth with an unsterilized wrench and no novocain. We're still reeling. In fact, it's so painful we don't even know how painful it is.
Of course, the American flag is everywhere. Store windows, street signs, the clothing we wear. And too, are the pictures of the missing, everywhere. People who worked in the WTC lived all over town.
Another sad state of affairs: many of those workers lived alone. Their dogs and cats are now orphans, as people scramble to find new homes for these pets, preventing them from following their masters.
Baseball, just back today, was being played under sleepwalking conditions. The Mets paid tribute to the valiant rescue workers by coming on the field wearing NYFD, NYPD and NYEMT baseball caps, before switching to their official uniform caps to play. The Mets expressed a desire to actually wear these caps during their first home game, to be played in a few days; a small tribute to the colossal effort these professionals have given to our city.
We're taking baby steps now, as we continue with the business of the living. The quiet is the quiet of a library or a religious house. Muted and hushed, no one is ready to speak at full volume, especially when some five thousand voices have been silenced.
When I hear the phrase, "Time heals all wounds," well, I look around and see a city, a country, a world that's desperately seeking a little more time.
We will get through this.