Before I begin, I must over a very strong RIP for Andy Whitfield, star of the Starz series Spartacus: Blood and Sand. I was a huge fan of the show, and quote many Spartacus-isms in my own speech ("Gratitude." "Apologies." "Take hold of your c**k and be a man!"). He attained the success we all want in the final years of his life, and will always be remembered as the iconic character for our age. Cold beers in the air, have one for the road. May you kick ass with double swords in the afterlife.
I no longer live in fear.
This may have as much to do with the fact that I no longer live and work in New York as it does with the fact that there is nothing more the terrorist threat can do to me, but I am no longer afraid. Perhaps that is the best revenge. I don't worry about the next hijacked plane, or flying again, or any of it. I've already looked into the eye of the storm. I know what's there. and it's not so scary when you've already seen it.
I was scared ten years ago. The World Trade Center was my favorite landmark in my favorite city, and seeing it in rubble was deeply scarring. Same as anyone, there are things I saw, smelled and felt that will be with me the rest of my life.
I remember the footprint my size thirteen Nike made in the wet ash along Rector and West, two blocks away from the towers. I recall the first time the N train passed Cortlandt Street/WTC station, and how everyone got silent, as if the next move someone would make would bring the whole thing crashing down on their heads. I remember seeing the iconic shot of the arches alone the entrance way, broken and on its side, atop all the rubble and burning stuff. The smell of burning glass and steel, with a hint of charred human flesh. The dust on all the windows. The posters. All of it is so very easily recalled. I wonder if this is what the people who talk about the Kennedy assassination mean when they say they know where they were.
I do not live in fear however.
I refuse to live in fear anymore.
I will never forget, and I will never again fear.