I woke up from an expected nap to find my Northwest flight paused on the tarmac. The engines spun up then stopped. I could see the shadow of an “off-contract mechanic” standing below the wing. A heavily loaded electrical motor whined, then paused. Clunk after metallic clunk announced our resumption of travel.
Somewhere there is an analyst doing a cost benefit analysis of Northwest breaking the union — really just some drone fighting inscrutible formulas and manually-updated excel spreadsheets.
“Make this line bold!”
It’s probably a temp.
When I flew out of Minneapolis, it was just as the sun was rising. As I departed New York the sun was slipping away from a clear sky, leaving a band of orange and pink circling the horizon.
Were those grinding and clanking noises appropriate during our initial climb?
I miss New York already. The air is hazy and the ground is so far away. How can I return to normal life now? How can I give up people who laugh at all of my awful jokes and hug me in public? I never got to just chill with Christian, or Bharat, for that matter. It was a weekend of eating and drinking at maximum velocity — trying to cram as much of the city into my mouth as I could and failing miserably. I’m taking back at most a glass of Hefe Weisen amidst the water molecules and red blood cells running through my veins. I want to walk another thousand miles down the streets, talk to a million random people — some of them wearing Walt Mink t-shirts!
I knew that I went shopping with Joan, PM, and John for a reason — I saw a person in a Walt Mink shirt at the Apple Store! Walt Mink! The shirt from the once in a lifetime reunion show in Minneapolis!
Then there was a bomb scare! As we struggled back to the Ginger Man for one last cooling, refreshing beer, the streets filled thickly with police officers and firemen. It was just a suspicious package, but I said thank you as they rerouted us away from potential danger.
The World Trade Center just wasn’t there. It was a huge construction site. I hope that they can build a suitable memorial to demonstrate the tangible grief that we all still feel, but maybe the real memorial is the whole city of New York: the church whose yard had filled with rubble, the wall of MISSING flyers at the hospital, the police trucks marked with dedications to fallen friends, all together in a mash of loss and hope. The towers are now just a huge wound, but that wound is dwarfed by the city itself — a city honestly filled with love.