Tuesday, September 30
okay back in full speed work mode
my busy season starts today
and im trying to throw myself into jet speed
got a wedding upstate
cooking a dinner for 775 people on tuesday
thats 2,000 shrimp to grill
its maximum warp
back at the ranch
is it me
or is this presidency getting a little scarier every day
now he narks on CIA agents
exposing their identitys
because their hubbies write things he doesnt like?
come on you know it was the baby bush house
you know they did this
its the communist witch hunts
all over again round here
if you're not down with georgie
you're done the tube
this is not the america
i know and love
this is some scary ass bull crap
bring back clinton for one more term i say
and let him stick his lightning rod
wherever the hell he wants to
Sunday, September 28
Iím not a religious woman
yes I was raised to be
but Iím not
maybe because Iíve seen so much of the hypocrisy of organized religion
maybe because Iím smart enough to know that the bible must have been influenced by far too many MALE opinions to count
maybe because Iíve seen so much death and terror in the name of religion
because Iíve found my own way
my own special blend of spirituality
that tells me
that whatever happens to us after our lives our over
we will not go to heaven or go to a wonderful place
simply because we have managed to follow the chosen religion
we will not be resurrected while others remain underground
simply because we have managed to follow the chosen religion
we will not meet 72 virgins
because we have murdered while suiciding ourselves for the chosen religion
I know in my heart that what happens to us
after we die
will be better
if we are better
will be worse if we
and that's all that I know
that and that something does happen to us after we die
is that after we die
we become a strip of energy
we are whittled down to the intangible life force
some call the soul
and than as this energy
we join the energy of the universe
we no longer feel
we no longer feel
the limits of our flesh
we feel like a part of all that has even been
we know all that has ever been known
and if we chose to live our lives in goodness
we feel the gratitude or hundreds of millions of souls
and if chose to live our life in evil
we feel the tears of hundreds of millions of souls
thatís my own personal
somewhat fuzzy belief
and its based on an experience I had with my mother a few days after she died
which i will share with you in memoirable
one day when Iím courageous enough
that being sad
let me also say
that I am a jew
how can I say all that I have just said
and then say I am a jew?
this is the religion that has embraced
and has often caused the death of
and the life of my family for generations going back
into perhaps the beginning
no one knows of any other diversion in my family ancestry
it is the religion of my mother
who created for me everything that feels like home
good and bad
it is the religion that makes me feel like Iím going home
as a gay woman
I do not feel welcome
in an orthodox synagogue
and to tell you truth
as a woman ..gay or not
I did not feel welcome in an orthodox synagogue
to sit up in the tower
while the men below recited all the prayers
to have to cover my body
or cover my hair
and never raise my voice in song
while the men danced and sang below
is wrong to me on every level
I have found my own place
in NYC there is a "Shul" called Congregation Beth Simchat Torah..
It is the first and I hope many will join
gay and lesbian and transgender synagogue and is also open to all those
friends and family and people who can embrace each other regardless of sexuality..
so far Iíve seen just as many straight people in services as i have seen gay
and I like that..people together standing against homophobia
today is Rosh Hashanah
I went to "shul" last night and being a "high holiday Jew" I pretty much only go to shul on Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur..
I forget how cleansing it all feels..
Rosh Hashanah is the new beginning..the opening of the books.. a chance to make amends and to change your course...
Yom Kippur is the solemn closing of the books..your last chance to search your soul for all that must be changed for all that must be forgiven..
I think of this in some ways as a huge once-a-year confession... and it some ways it is..
What I like about my shul is that being set up around a community that has felt so cast out it has also..set itself up to be open to meditations ..almost a new ageish way of praying and makes you feel like however you want to do it
its just fine..
I felt my heart rest for the first time in a few weeks when i walked in last night..
I liked that the nighttime service was quiet.. most had opted to go in the morning..
I loved the way it ended with us all dipping our apples in honey
ďFor a Sweet New Year!Ē
La Shana Tovah!!
And I mostly loved this feeling of going home..
In the endÖI know in my heart that it wonít matter whether or not I was Jewish to whoever this thing is we call the higher power..
It will only matter how I lived my life and how good I was to other people and how much love I could muster upÖ
For me being Jewish helps me to do those things..I donít try to make too much sense of it..
I just follow my heart..
Last night I prayed for La Cubana and for her sister taken from her life so very young and for her mother who seems to be having so much trouble making it through this and for my own mother who I hope is in a wonderful placeÖ
And maybe silently without even acknowledging it in my conscious mind I send some good will to myself tooÖ
And I think
Friday, September 26
La Shana Tovah
so tonight is rosh hashanah
the jewish new year
many of you long time readers
might remember my rosh hashanah
story from ground zero that I published on Mcsweeneys
in dedication to the holiday i am
going to put up this piece on memoirable
so go read
"Days of Awe"
just click on memoirable
La Shana Tovah
happy New Year
Wednesday, September 24
car driving mama
let me tell you a little bit of what happens
when you put a die hard Manhattanite behind the wheel
honey i learned to drive in New Jersey when i was 15 friggen years old!
i didn't need to know how to parallelle (how the hell do you spell that) park
the jersey shore was one big parking lot
it was like well which spot should i take george
umm how bout that one or that one or that one
so i only get behind the wheel maybe once a year
its always a rent-a-car
and its always a car i have never driven before
it usually takes me full day just to remember how to ^%$#&* drive
so honey do you even want to think of what it was like
squeezed behind the wheel for the first time in over a year
and then hit rush hour going through the holland tunnel
then on the interstate to go over the george washington bridge to
the first thing i did was clip the fence trying to pull my car out
luckily Luce the tough ass mama who works in the dentist office next door
came running out
"honey don't you worry about nutin..honey...i got a little nail polish remove
like magic the scrape was gone!
but evidently i had not instilled confidence on the block
so hector the plumber from next door pulled the car out for me
i am the blonde bimbo of my block
what can i say?
so in traffic going into the tunnel
my mirror kinda got hooked for a second on this SUV
but luckily the guy was too busy starring at my hooters to care
then i go thru the tunnel
and somehow wind up on 195 going south instead instead of north
so i made a little itty bitty illegal u-turn
where the toll booths were
the toll booth guy said
"no cops now go for it!"
thank god for hooters!!!
so then i am finally going north to the GW bridge
screaming all the way
at the phsycho's almost killing me every five seconds
How the hell do people drive every day
it's scary as shit!
and i somehow wind up going over the GW bridge driving down some road
and then going back over the GW bridge back to Manhattan
and having to turn around and go back over the GW bridge again
to get to Fort Lee
at which point
i missed my street and had to turn around
and went a mile out of my way
and turned around and came back and parked at a Blimpies
and considered crying
finally i got to my destination
i clipped the fence again on the way out
and then could not drive thru my block
because of construction
so they guys told me
to back up
all the way to avenue c
zigzagging around all the double parked cars
i can hardly drive going forward
you want me to back up?!?!??!
i ran to hectors building
he was out to lunch
to i dragged david his boss
to the car
and demanded he back it up for me
THANK GOD FOR HOOTERS!
i drove to 24th street
a few pedestrians
returned the ^$#$#^&** car
and hope to
not see the drivers seat of a vehicle
for quite some time
TAXI CITY HERE I COME
how the hell do you non city folks do it
i mean this shit is scary
and why the hell are those fences always in the way?
Tuesday, September 23
growing up, it seemed that my mother postponed all of her dreams, her fantasies, her wishes for later..
"i will visit France one day..."
"we will spend the money after we make sure the kids go to college"
" let's just go to the discount store and save so we have more money in the bank in case of a rainy day"
i remember when my mom said out loud, after all the kids had moved out...(honey i had left before my 17th birthday but my brother and sister stuck around) anyway mom said, "NOW I"M GOING TO ENJOY MY LIFE!"
The postponing was over!
The year she made that announcement she had a stroke which left her partially paralyzed and in a wheel chair. 5 years after that she died.
She never did get around to enjoying her life.
I was left with a sad life lesson, a lesson that I have just been reminded of again this past week....DO NOT POSTPONE LIVING
LIVE EVERY DAY YOU ARE ALIVE
Life is so short...and so many people punch the clock, work till they're exhausted and then just trudge home, watch the boob tube and do it again the next day..
Weekends are for laundry, cleaning the house...catching up on sleep and then back to the grind.
No dears. That's not living.
My good pal Margot called me the other day to say she felt like all she does is work and she's tired...soul tired.
I told her what I'm telling myself and what I'm telling you.
This day, today make yourself a pledge and promise this to yourself for the rest of your life.
Every day you are alive, you will do at least one thing purely for the pleasure of it, for your own pleasure, for the simple pleasure and no other reason.
Once a week for the rest of your life, you will do something, anything, you've never done before. You get special bonus points if its something you're a little bit afraid of and obviously I am not referring to a bad or cruel thing.
Today I think I will go for a walk in the rain.
This week, hmmm I don't know...I have a rent-a-car right now...maybe I'll just drive to a town I've never heard of.
I don't want to postpone my life...for a rainy day...
It's raining right now and I'm living right now...
and I went to step out into my life and feel the water on my skin, feel the breeze on my cheeks...
I'll keep you posted
Sunday, September 21
i promised myself
that if i were going to be a writer
i would not hold back
i would tell you everything i had to say
without fear of you knowing too much about me
or fear of becoming too vulnerable by exposing myself
or especially fear of you not liking what i had to say
i need to tell you
that la cubana's sister died about an hour ago
i deeply appreciate your kindness and your prayers
and all your well wishes
but La C and her family are fiercely
and i do not wish to dis-respect them in any way
so i will say no more on this subject
i will only say
that my heart is aching for my dear superhero
and her family
and i hope
and i pray that her sister
is happy and tranquil
and at peace
wherever she is now
and i hope somehow
and i pray
this aching family
can find some serenity
and some calm
in all this pain
beam of light
its sunny and crisp and lovely out
and part of me feels like rolling in this glorious morning
but the rest of me
is thinking of La Cubana and her family
and a young woman
a far too young woman
who doesn't seem to be pulling through at all
it's a sad
does not think she will make it till tomorrow
i will let you know
what the outcome is
in the meanwhile
i close my eyes
and imagine myself
forming a beam of solid
an energy of goodness
and kindness and healing
and projecting that beam
into the heart of
La Cubana's sister
into the heart of
and her dear sweet elderly
things get better
Saturday, September 20
so isabel came
she scared the hell out of us
and then she moved out
to tell you the truth isabel reminds me a lot of someone i dated in the late 80's
but then most things in life remind me of at least someone i dated generally in the 80's
here in manhattan things weren't too bad, just a whole lotta wind and one night of hearty rain..
i kinda liked sitting in an outside cafe' and watching all the other chairs move around
sort of like having breakfast in the Amityville horror (oh right you're all too young to remember) sheesh am i the only babe who remembers these things
im only a 30 something mama...not dead!
ok a late 30 something mama
im still frisky and sexy
i digress as usual
i know some of you folks out there got things a whole lot rougher
maybe even love someone who didnt make it
so i send a big hug and some loving wishes your way
as to moi
well i guess i just blow on
life has been a little rocky over here
La Cubana's sister is very very sick
and they don't seem to think she will make it
so i'm sending all my prayers to her and to La C
and to her family
and to her mom
especially who can't imagine losing her baby
this is a young woman
only 5 years older than me
i don't pray
well except for twice a year on the high holidays
but i will say a prayer
for this far-too-young lady
and her family
and for La C who is trying to take care of all them
all the world
my own little super hero
kinda puts things into perspective
basically nothing i wanted to complain about seems worth mentioning
so ill just shut up
and send some love to those who need it more than me
be well folks
Wednesday, September 17
i'm gonna let you in on a little secret
despite my 22 years in NYC
despite my bad ass attitude
despite my been-around-the-block- aura
i am evidently
far too trusting
La Cubana pointed this out to me recently
when i confronted our super
for not showing up to clean
as he is paid to do
and our super
looked me straight in the eye
and lied "i been coming..."
he said even though he hadn't set foot in our building in about a month
"i can't believe he lied to me" I said to La C
who looked at me and said "what did you think he was going to do?"
i guess i thought he was going to apologize
a client who booked me about a year ago to cater an event and
who had taken up something over 50 hours of my consulting time
decided to cancel her event at the last minute
she canceled so last minute that I will now have to pay
some of my staff
so not only do i get screwed out of what i was supposed to make for all my time
but i get screwed for out of pocket money too
the thing is
i liked this lady
i liked her
i trusted her
and i cared about her event
i only charged her a deposit of less than 50% of what I should have
and now i am left totally screwed
her husband emailed me to say
basically sorry but too bad
am i sitting here
so horrified and hurt?
this is business
this is NYC
people screw you over
the nicer they are
the more charming
the bigger the screw
i'm just a friggin
naiive little blonde yenta
i mean hello
ive been in business for 14 years
i should be used to this
la cubana says
she doesn't want me to change
she likes that i look tough on the outside
but im mush on the inside
my maitre d margot
calls me burnt marshmellow
hard and crusty outside
soft and gooey inside
as long as she doesnt shorten it to BM
which means something entirely different
im ok with the analogy
if the choice
is to become
i'm better off staying
and getting royally screwed
every once in awhile
but you know
for future reference
i'm not doing any discount deposits anymore
no way jose'
and im kick that ^%$&* super in his fat butt crack
if he lies to me again
the marshmellow rides again!!!!
Tuesday, September 16
Things that make me go AAK number 3
okay first of all darlins
for all those who wanted just a little bit better peek at moi
yes yes to the lovely erica at swirlspice (see linkie love list)
that is me working the bright yellow hard hat in the ground zero photo below
i dont know about you
but i need a chaser for all this 911
and there's no better way to do that
then letting out a little of my inner bitch
so here we go with
THINGS THAT MAKE ME GO AAAK
that Dubya has taken our economy
into a royal flush ...a toilet flush that is
and now wants another 87 billion for Iraq
that after running and hiding like a dickless little geek
he george DUBYA junya is now trying to do a spin on 911
and re-write history with him being a brave leader
i haven't seen spin like that since the 70's and that was on the dance floor honey
that anyone anyone anyone can not see that Arafat is
as much a terrorist, threat to peace, and full out motherfucker
as the motherfuckers this country has attempted to kill i say attempted
because this government seems to be doing an excellant job of trying to kill
super pricks and then we have to keep seeing them on the news
un-killed which is, now that i mention it another thing that makes me go AAAK
that anyone in their right mind
can have the audacity
to stand against gay marriage in this day and age
haven't you learned anything
haven't you been in the world at all
we are all equal
let us marry our %$#^&*( spouses you ignorant
self serving homophobic idiots
that at the first day of school at THe Harvey Milk School
the kids who are there because they have been beaten
harrassed and pushed often the point of attempting suicide
had to be greeted by the same world class scumbag
who harrassed the mourners at Matthew Shepards funeral
with his "God Hates Fags' signs
hey dickless! I got a feeling that god hates cruel, ignorant
evil, nasty little clumps of dog dung like you
oh lets just say A LOT!!
lastly on a personal note
that the same idiots who leave
comments on your web site
are too cowardly to leave their name and email
so we can tell them exactly what we think of them
Saturday, September 13
Birthday not death day
Although this is the last time I plan to write about 9/11 for a while,
here are some photos I haven't posted of those times. Click photos to see larger images.
Our team that fed rescuers
A rescue dog in booties
Rosh Hashanah at Ground Zero
ok for those of you who wondered
how i spent the 911 anniversary
it went something like this
i woke up
watched the memorial services on tv and remembered
how la cubana took me to an office overlooking ground zero
and we watched from many stories above
i think tv was better this year
2 years later
tv is better
for the next several hours
it seemed like everyone in the world called
to talk about mundane business stuff
and i was amazed
didn't anyone know what day it was?
la cubana arrived in full scale work mode
my chef called with day-to-day business questions
and by 12:00
i began to feel like the only person
outside of the thousands at ground zero
who didn't want to work
didn't want to talk about mundane stuff
and did want to dwell on what this was the anniversary of
i walked from the east village to the water on the west side
and walked halfway down to ground zero
all the thousands of news crews that had been there two years ago
and the endless smoke and terrible smell
this day it was beautiful
the grass was filled with sunbathers
the kiddy water park filled with laughing children
i sat on a bench and stared at the water
i watched the children play
and i began to breathe
and i began to smile
it was a gorgeous day
remembering september 11th did not have to be all about
it could be about healing
about treasuring new things
about trying to be better
my friend Adeena the world famous poet (hey she's written 6 books that's famous enough for me) and her 5 year old daughter Safia
wanted a place to go
they had, together mother and child,
watched both planes hit
and while saphia being young
and innocent needed nothing but a place to play
Adeena needed somewhere to go
i met them at the starbucks in time square
this was now
oh about an 80 block walk for me
we relaxed for awhile
and then headed for the ground zero reunion party
at September Space
you probably remember me writing about September Space
its a non-profit set up as a place of healing
for all those affected by September 11th, not just the families of the victims and they do a lot of work with the workers who had been down there.
They offer free coffee, donuts, pizza, massage, art therapy, a quiet place to chill out.
Two years later I wondered if September Space would still have a purpose. Maybe most of its visitors had moved on.
but the reunion they were hosted was a free dinner and reunion for the volunteers and I hoped if I didn't see anyone I knew at least I would be around a place filled with people who felt the way I did on this day.
It turned out to be the best place to take Safia.
They're very kid friendly over there. They immediately set her up with glue, pipe cleaners, feathers, paper, twirly things, everything a kid needs to create a masterpiece.
I walked around and looked at the giant 911 quilt put together by a girls school, the many drawings from the art therapy program, the private rooms for meetings and for massage.
An older man wearing several ground zero security tags walked by. I recognized him from St. Pauls. This was the podiatrist "Al the foot doctor." Needless to say he was the most popular guy around. He spend 8 months in the church massaging the feet of the workers.
Margie the great cheerleader from the point thank you perch on the west side highway arrived. She came with her brother. They had spent a year on the highway waving and holding up thank you signs for the ground zero crews.
A lot of Salvation army workers arrived, they had doled out sandwiches, soup, socks all the s's.
Many of them wore their bits of ground zero memoirabilia, much the way Vietnam Vets might in a veterans hall.
I began to realize that the room was full of the people who had come down there to offer relief to the workers who had come down there to dig.
Two years later it was the relief volunteers who now needed relief.
I will admit to you that I found something frightening about the thought of coming to this place often. I liked the chance to relive and remember two years later but to come all the time, every week, i think would make me feel like I was still there, that I was not moving forward. But that's me.
For Margie, an elderly woman who walked with a cane and the help of her elderly brother, I imagine that going back to a life of a retired, semi handicapped woman
after a year on the highway, was probably something she just couldn't do. Having a place to come to and continue offering her special blend of cheerleading skills, might feel to her like salvation. I don't know. I'm not in Margie's head, but I liked seeing her there.
We filled up on chips and tuna fish thinking that was dinner and then a really decent meal of salad, pizza, turkey and fried chicken showed up. I was full, but being a pig, I decided to eat some salad and chicken
and forced Adeena to have pie and donuts so I could live vicariously through her.
Safia created a masterpiece of feathers and twirly things.
I saw Lisa the mastermind of this operation, an adorable little vixen who I still think looks like Valerie Bertinelli and I promised her a piece of art for her office.
Most of the people there knew each other, if not from ground zero, then from the weekly meetings held there for the "ground zero fellowship."
For me, one night of remembrance on the anniversary was enough. I might come back on the 3rd year, I might not, but anything more than that, for me, would feel like stepping back into a place I only want to recall from a distance.
I'm glad September Space is there and I'm glad that two years later there is a place for Margie the worlds greatest cheerleader to go and cheer some more and I'm glad that two years later, Al, a short elderly foot doctor can have a place to go where he can wear his security badges like medals and find people who think they are medals and maybe, they are.
For me...well...it's time to move on...I stepped back into this world for a few days..I reposted my story from two years ago...I let myself roll in the good, bad, horrible and beautiful for a few days... and now it's time to proceed.
Now is the time for life not death.
Now is the time for newness not the re-hashing of old.
I promised you all that I would re-post my pieces from two years ago for much of this month, but I think today will be my last post on the subject of "911" for awhile.
It's just not healthy for me to dwell on this.
What I will remember most about my night at September Space was the wonderful piece of art Safia created and how when we left she told her mother that it was not what she expected. "It was the best party..mommy....like a birthday party!"
Yes...Safia I think you have the right idea......a birth party ...not a death party...
As for Adeena, well I suspect this will all wind up in one of her poems one day...and that's just perfect to me...
Two years later it is poetry, art, children, joy, new-ness birth, peace, love, family, friendship and goodness that I want to dwell on.
Thank you to September Space for offering me a safe place to remember.
But now I must march forward...
Thanks to Safia for reminding me that joy and wonder can be found in the strangest of places and thanks to Adeena for going with me and being my own personal cheerleader...and for eating the pie for me...
Happy lives ya'all and all my love and prayers to the loved ones of the victims of "911" and to all those who went down there and to all those who didn't go down there but found their own ways to offer up kindness and care.
p.s. i had a very odd
comment that i jus deleted by some weird ass fool
who momentarily made me forget about all the love
i just conjured up and want to bite his/her head off
instead i just deleted the pricks comment
if you wish to leave
totally uncalled for and nasty comments
here then go stick your head up your ass
because i will delete you
and now back
to all the love
i care about
Friday, September 12
Two Years Ago Today
Two Years ago today this is the post I wrote on my website.
I'd only had the web site for oh about a week and had started the site as a fun light rant on life.
Well life changed for most of us that morning two years ago yesterday and when I had a moment of clarity I sat down to collect my thoughts and this is what came out.
Two years later I am grateful that I had this site to document everything I saw, heard, smelled, felt, sensed.
It's like a photograph from the inside of my mind.
Two years later I am not the same person I was. I'd like to think I am kinder, softer, stronger, clearer. I'd like to think my priorities are more in order and if they have fallen to the wayside, I'd like to think that the anniversary yesterday may have gotten me back on check.
Two years later I still can't make sense of the absurdity of it all; why it happened, how it could have happened. Hell most of me still can't believe it happened.
A close friend of mine yesterday told me that Americans are spoiled, that we had never experienced on our turf what most other countries around the world have experienced. She said that terror ridden and, or, wartorn countries like hers, like Israel, like the occupied territories of the Palestinians, like Bosnia, like Northern Ireland live September 11th every day. That two years later her attitude is simply to move on because death and terror were a part of her formative childhood and the only way to move on was to move on.
I hear her and I understand where she is coming from and I admit that yes, Americans are spoiled in a thousand different ways and that yes, September 11th was like one giant de-flowering of our virginity, but to lose 3,000 lives in one hour was a shock to our system and to everything we knew on such a scale that even two years later it makes one stop, pause, think and ponder.
I will never know what it's like to grow up in a war torn country
and she will never know what it's like to feel as safe and as powerful as I did the morning the I woke up on September 11th and then to have it taken from me. So I shall simply respect our difference.
For me, I will never take peace for granted anymore and I will, feel a deeper sense of remorse and understanding at the horrors I see on the news aflicting strangers from around the world who don't feel quite so much like strangers anymore.
two years ago today
I posted this...
Wednesday, September 12 2001
And then Ö
Early in the AM at least early for me, while I was spell checking my rant about how much I need noise and hate quiet, a rant that ended with how friggin' peaceful I felt ... I heard an explosion but did not even flinch ...
I hear explosions all the time from the projects, figured it was just the usual big firecracker in a garbage can thing
Then a client called and said, "I wanted to talk to you about business, but they just crashed an airplane into the World Trade Center." ...?? So I hung up, turned on the news, freaked out and ran up on the roof. ...
There from the roof deck of my Lower East Side building I saw the unbelievable -- the twin towers on fire, gaping holes on the tops of each. It took a moment for me to remove myself from all those Armageddon movies. This was real. In a rush that went from my heart to my stomach, I felt the fear of all those trapped in the towers. It wasn't even 9:30 a.m., but I spun around to see a sizable chunk of my neighbors climb up onto their roofs and fire escapes, their jaws hung as low as mine was.
I ran downstairs for my camera, feeling like a louse, but I just had to, and grabbed Mike from next door and the baby sitter from 5A. I needed someone else to see this and tell me I was not dreaming.
"Holy shit!" Mike screamed. I snapped some pictures, but the camera felt poisoned, so I tossed it on the picnic table and just stared.
We all just stared.
I tried to comprehend how many floors were smoldering.
"It's not so bad. Ö They'll get them out," someone said, or was it me?
Then it happened -- just as I was thinking, "How much more will this burn before they find a way to put it out?" there was a flash of silver, bits of silver catching the sunlight, just trickling down Ö and the first tower, just seemed to implode. It came crashing down into itself, right before our eyes. And there were screams from every window and every roof top, and one of them was mine. And I started to cry
This silver deck of cards had just collapsed right in front of us.
It was so absurd, it could not even register.
"No, no, no, no, no!" I heard myself say.
"Oh my God! Oh my God!" came the yells from roof tops stretching to the base of Manhattan.
Armin from 2A came upstairs and just stared blankly. Then we turned our sights on the second tower. The fear from all those people trapped in the top of the other tower and the ones trying to make their way down 30, 40, 80 flights of stairs was so tangible, you could feel it floating in the air amid the vast billowy black and gray smoke that came up like a nuclear mushroom cloud.
We watched, and our cell phones did not work, and our home phones did not work, and our loved ones were trying to call us. We watched.
My neighbor Ray the lawyer came rushing up. He had just escaped from the financial district only a couple blocks away. "I just climbed out of the subway, and a wall of people pushed me back!" he yelled panting and sweaty.
Mike snapped pictures with his zoom lens, shaking his head, trying to make jokes that did not work. The baby sitter bounced the baby on his lap and pointed to the black sky saying, "Man, you are going to tell your grandchildren that you saw this!" to the bewildered baby. A frozen chill began to creep up my arms and legs.
"You've got goose bumps all over you, man!" Mike said..
I ran downstairs to get coffee for myself and the baby sitter cause I felt dizzy and weak and just as I touched my door the screaming started again, ran back upstairs just as the second tower is crashing down, the unbelievable has happened twice. Ö And the screams are everywhere, everywhere, and the smoke is so thick that all of downtown Manhattan is obliterated as it blows endlessly towards Brooklyn. I watched the end of the second tower disappear into a mass of black and silver.
And we can all feel the death of thousands
They died right in front of us
I could not see their faces, but I could see their faces
I still see their faces
I stroke the part of the sky where they were with my fingers
There is no peace
There is nothing but smoke
We are frozen there on the roof for a thousand moments
I have the sensation that everything I have ever known is being rewritten in my head, and there's nothing I can do to stop it.
And then the aftermath
What will happen now?
Is this our Pearl Harbor?
Ray's secretary gets through to him, and I ask her to call my brother. Kathleen comes home and we run to the grocery store for supplies. At times like this, they say to buy water.
The grocery store is filled to the walls with terrified people buying nonperishables.
I load up on anything, I don't even know what I bought.
Some sugary juice, cheap cat food, water, something frozen
Canned pineapple of some kind, or maybe it was corn, yes, corn
The police are all around when I emerge
The off-duty officers called in
All of downtown is blocked off.
But we are downtown.
You can feel the tension
Crime yet to be born
The city filled with people who will not work today, pacing, what to do now, where to go.
"Everyone I see is drunk or high," the laundry lady says. ..
There is the sense that nothing makes sense today.
There is a strange dead burnt smell that I can taste in the back of my throat
The fighter jets buzz by
The helicopters climb through the murdered skyline
No one will vote in the primaries
Kathleen goes to Beth Israel to donate blood
Carolyn to Bellevue
I can not give blood, but I wonder what, what, what can I do
I check the air, and worry about the smoke and my cats
And see the tower collapsing, over and over and over again in my head
Carol and Tommy are bankers; they work downtown.
M.E. finally gets through on the phone. She was about to walk the 84 blocks to my apartment. She missed her flight to Washington. Thank God, I tell her. Thank god
"I love you!" I say and ask her to find out if they are ok, Carol and Tommy.
I think they work on Wall Street but I'm not sure.
Tracey calls. Calls can now get in but not out, I have her call my father to tell him I'm ok. She invites me to take the cats and come to Brooklyn but I opt for staying home with the windows shut and the A/C on to filter the air. I would have to walk to Brooklyn across the bridge and home with the cats seems a better bet for now. I've always been afraid of heights.
"Tell my father I'm alive," I beg her.
I am alive.
This day now sits before me like a pathetic afterthought.
There is nothing to do but ponder and watch the tower crumbling, crumbling, crumbling in my head.
Later on, after the news has shown me the videos of what is already taped to my eyes forever, I go back up on the roof to monitor the smoke. Is it blowing my way? Do I need to evacuate? It has mellowed, turned more gray.
Then all of sudden it is black again. Black and billowy and thick, but lower, not like the towers. It covers the buildings like a thick blanket, then spreads out piercing the gray, this new terrible thing, a floating dark ocean.
"Did you see it?" the baby's mother screams rushing up on the roof. "We just heard it on the news! The smaller building, No. 7, just came down!"
"I saw it," I say knowing I have not seen anything today since the first tower crumbled before me.
The city has become a game of dominoes.
I look at the Empire State Building and wonder, who will be next?
Thursday, September 11
The 11th Day of September
All is quiet
All is still
The soft muffled blanket
Laying over downtown like a giant ear muff
Tiny bits of who we were
So long ago
A million years ago
When we woke up this morning
When we were greeted with radiant sunshine
Crisp wondrous breezes
We threw ourselves into this lovely day
Just another day
Time to go to work
Just another day
But this one was a little sweeter
A little sunnier
What could be better in the world
Then clear skies
And singing birds
In New York City?
We are that strange breed of animal
That finds peace amidst chaos
Nature on our roof tops
Ecstasy in one perfect crisp sunny morning
A million years ago
When we were innocent
When we believed that sunny lovely days meant all was right in the world
When we thought silent, floating, layers of thick nothingless only happened in snow storms
Tuesday, September 9
stand up loud proud and NOW
i'll tell ya
the world is scaring the shit out of me lately
today in a cab stuck in traffic enroute to my doctor to get a shot in the tushy
because my allergies have gone kaplooey from construction dust
i hear on the news
that dozens have been killed in israel from a terrorist
so while i was feeling pangs of remorse for israel
i listen further and its happening right here in New York!
they followed with a special report about a synagogue
that is currently on fire...obviously an anti-semitic act of
vandalism turned PYRO ..
the shit is creeping back onto my home turf again...
i thought about all the little things that have crept into my world lately
there was the drunk hipster who looked up at me and said
"Haven't you heard? It's hip to be a Republican now!"
I said, "Hmmm well the Republicans think I'm too liberal. The Dems think I'm too
pro Israel to be a Dem...so I guess I'm directly in the center, sort of the VAGINA
of the political field.."
He did not smile or laugh merely muttered something about how he loved George Bush and his friend suggested we abruptly change the subject.
Now a days, you can't really freely discuss your political feelings
without risking a possible fight or cold icy glare
It used to be here in downtown NYC
hipsters, grunge kids, arty types like moi
would roll in our anti-establishment rap
love to be not so PC about a damn thing
it was just part of the thing DUDE
everyone acts like big brother is watching them
and you know what
lately it seems like being in america is not feeling very american
i was not anti-war on Iraq
i do think we went to war for the wrong reasons
take the motherfucker out for humanitarian issues
don't keep harping on these weapons of mass destruction that no one can find
what scared me
was what happened to the folks who were anti war
listen as an American
it's their right to stand up and say they don't believe in this war
and it's our right to stand up and say screw off jerk
or yeah baby i'm with you..
but to have anti-war protestors
questioned as possible terrorists
or treated as anti-american
i mean didn't we learn anything from the 60's
with this 87 billion dollar price tag that
are gonna have to pay by having our taxes hiked up the wazoo
and with those soldiers still over there
and this thing dragging on a whole lot longer than it was supposed to
Vietnam comparisons are not feeling so far fetched
speaking of scary
did anyone see DC/911
the inside scoop on the baby bush during the september 11th crisis?
I mean my god
if that wasn't a propoganda flick i don't know what was
how many times were we gonna watch george junior clutch the police shield of the fallen port authority cop
and get misty eyed
how many times were we gonna hear members of his cabinet
point out how bad saddam was
how brave george junior is
how he is really in charge not dick cheney
i mean it was like they ran down the list of all the things americans feel
un-easy about when it comes to Dubya
and made the movie to snow them over
i haven't seen such a total propaganda flick
i guess i never have
that i'm aware of anyway..
in this day and age
i don't even know if it matters anymore
whether you're a democrat
or a republican
whatever the hell you call yourself
because all these politicians are
starting to sound an awful lot alike
but i think its important to stand up
and question those in power
to not just sit back
and have blind faith that our president
will just do the right thing
because he just might NOT
and lord knows
we've have enough presidents who screwed up
and screwed us up to know that
what i remember most about the bruce springsteen concert i went to a little while back
is that the boss
stood up and basically said
the same thing i just said
it doesn't matter what you are a DEM or a Repub..
but you have to question your leaders
it's your right
and shit who could argue with the boss about that one
he made a lotta sense
and sang pretty good too
starting to like that guy..amazing moi the anti-jersey-an..
but i digress
my point is
its a scary ass time
and i don't feel a sense of peace and harmony in the world
or in this country
and i do feel
that opening up my mouth
and saying loud and proud
that NO I don't like a whole lotta stuff this government is doing
is a definate way to get
into a fight
maybe get an FBI file (if I don't have one already)
and possibly get watched
or have my calls tapped
or who knows what
but on the other hand
if we don't stand up
and scream when we don't like something
then we're all just sheep
and we don't deserve anything
more than sheep get
which pretty much means
grazing on grass
being turned into sweaters
and one day winding up in the stew
Sunday, September 7
What did not Burn makes us Smile
Michele at "Small Victory"
(see linkie love list darlings we all know how lazy I am about typing in code, and well I'm blonde and it always takes me three tries before I get it right...ok?)
the goddess Michele or whom most of you know I am a huge fan
has the most amazing on-going projects going on called "Voices"
read her site and read the voices of so many affected by "911"
or add your voice, be a part of her documentation of history...it's a gorgeous project..
Michele is a gorgeous project herself...
Today I learned about the surfacing of the amateur videotape by the Czech immigrant living in Queens. This tape shows the rarest of footage, of the first plane hitting the tower.. that it's been sitting in his closet all this time and nearly erased by his son is amazing..
I have not seen the tape yet and I can't decide whether I feel a desire to see it or a horror, but I'm sure if I watch the news for more than five seconds today it will show up..
The timing just before the anniversary is of course, sadly poetic
I started looking at some photos taken of me at ground zero that I'm attempting to email to my editrix the great Nancy of Queerday.com. to hopefully post this coming week ...
I considered running them on my site two years ago but decided against it because everyone in the photos is smiling, myself included.
It seemed absurd for us all to look so charged, so happy as if we were doing a job we absolutely loved.
But you see, nearly two years later, that's the thing that has stayed with me the most. Now that the horror has let go its icy grasp, I remember most the love, the kindness, the unflinching bravery and goodness that was more thick and tangible than the endless smoke.
I think of Dominic the tough guy security guard from The Seaman's Church, who wrapped an American flag around his head and charged down to the hole the day after the towers fell and started looking for a way to help..
Dominic's partner in arms the adorable boyish Billy was at his side, together they found ways to distribute soda, water, Gatorade, food to the firemen and make-shift volunteer crews digging body-parts out of the "hole."
By the time I made it down there on September 16th, 5 days later, Dominic and Billy and just about everyone at The Seaman's Church had joined forces with the
empty and aching St. Paul's church and set up a relief canteen that was attempting to feed up to 2,000 rescue workers a day.
Yes rescue workers because on September 16th this was still a rescue effort. There was still hope.
When I arrived Dom wrapped his arms around me in a way that made me feel like I was draped in pure love, whittled down to its simplest form.
He and Billy had lost one of their best friends, they had nearly lost their own lives and they both stared at the world through wide, unblinking glassy eyes. Dom was on fire.
He was charged, manic, smiling, cheering, ready to save, feed, cheer up, guide, dance, sing, scream. He was ready to do anything buy cry.
I wonder if he has cried since.
There were so many heroes all around me, so many men and women who did not think they were heroes, who I assume still do not think they are heroes.
They came from everywhere; Canada, San Francisco, Brooklyn, Queens, Florida.
When I told them I was a New Yorker they felt sorry for me.
This one is from the photo gallery at St. Paul's site.
That's me on the right in the back with the hardhat.
Me who was just grilling hamburgers for them and carting Gatorade to the hole. They were the ones with someone elseís blood on their hands. Burns from the smoldering ash.
I think of the Indian man who quietly stood in the corner making sure the snack bins were full, the water cold. He had found his way out there and just didn't go home for oh I don't know how long, maybe two weeks. He spoke little, smiled a lot and just quietly stood behind the buffet line handing out goodies, nodding when they thanked him.
and I think of Dom, sweet, big guy, teddy bear Dom.
The last time I talked to him over a year later, he still hadn't come down. He reminded me of a Vietnam Vet. I was sure that he still saw all those images every time he closed his eyes.
"I'm thinking about joining the marines," he said.
Dom is about 50.
I look at the pictures of Dom, me, the army rabbi, Brian the nice little Jewish boy who doled out new dry socks to the firemen and yes, we were all smiling, we were all looking like perky cheer-leaders in front of burning mayhem.
But it's right that we should have smiled, because then and now, we had found the one good thing to come out of that wreckage;
Friday, September 5
Shelter Island Sunset without the Sun, Food, Booze or Cream Cheese
well just back from shelter island
where i took LA C for her birthday surprise
let me see
i picked "Sunset Beach" because it's supposed to be a fabu all-in-one resort
and i did not want La C to have to drive
since miss thang drives like oh 200 miles a day as a rule
i figured we would luxuriate on the private beach
order room service
eat in the french oh so fabuuuu restaurant
sip champagne at the bar
and be so ravishing dahling
well when i made the reservation i made it
VERY clear to the dear sweet man with the un-place-able accent
that i wanted to romance my WOMAN
so how amused was i when a few days before we were due to arrive
i get a phone message from a woman
just calling to make sure i knew that the restaurant and bar would be closed
i call back
and say "I beggggg your pardon..."
well darlings naturally i had a rather full fledged &^%$&** which is French for temper tantrum.
they put their manager Alistair on the phone
a lovely man with another un-place able accent
who immediately soothed me
by promising a very
VERY late check out
at no extra fee
and a bottle of champagne in our room
so Alistair made me a reservation at a sexy French place for her birthday din din
and i made another reservation for her night before din din
Quest cera cera and sue me if i did not spell that right..
because I am not French darling but i play one on TV..
well we arrive
the day after Labor day
thinking things will still be cranking
the day after Labor day
if its cold and drizzly
might as well be mid January
in um ALASKA
according to the Shelter island folks
not only was there no one to greet us
at the resort
but the office was closed and there was a note on the door
telling us where our room was
when i got to our room it was locked
and there was not a single staff person around to ask for help
i felt like
oh it was the day after say a small nuclear war
where are all the people?
luckily La C figured out that out note was in fact an envelope with the key in it
and just then Alistair showed up
to once again
soothe my nerves just before a full fledged implosion
he invited us to the staff party that night
this did not register at the time..
we felt much better when we entered our room
the room was fabulous
with a private deck
white billowy bed
orange spider chair
groovy modern stuff
the champagne ..sadly..was from Long Island not France
damn the one time i really did want something French
but it was drinkable
and the bath was lovely
and we overlooked the fact that the our fridge did not work
and there were no plates or forks
or any other item at all in our kitchenette
we drank our bubbly
and took a bubbly bath
and got dressed and went out for a lovely dinner
at the Chequot Inn ...an old kazillion year old inn, at which we were two of only 5 diners
which was fine with us
the duck was delicious for moi
and the steak for La C
and the cosmopolitan huge and perfect and
YES DAMN IT
i cheated on my diet and had a %#$&&** cosmo!
we retreated to our room for what we thought would be a quiet lovely night in
but guess what
because of yes...
the annual staff party
hooting and yelling and hollering
till 3 or 4 in the %$#^&& morning!!
oh my god folks
if you're gonna have a kick ass end-of-the-season-party all night long
then donít take any reservations!!!
or tell your guests
bonjour do you expect to sleep?
then perhaps go elsewhere..
we did not sleep ...much
having been a chef in a seasonal restaurant
i did not have the heart to tell The Sunset Strip folks
to shut the hell up..
so i put a pillow over my head
and dreamed of sunshine
i brought La C croissants and coffee in bed
for her birthday
The Sunset folks were willing to open up for a continental breakfast
no eggs, no cream cheese for La bagel but the pastries were lovely and the coffee strong
or so says La C
i had my usual BORING green tea!
we explored all over Shelter Island
saw the same deer 12 times
and after ogling many lovely homes
we could not afford to even sniff at
we wound up at the only place open for lunch
that we could find
with a nice back patio overlooking a pond with two huge HUNGRY
swans who ate all our bread
and we both ate greasy fried food
moi fish and chips
La C-fried shrimp
and by the time we got home
to make love
nap and shower
and then go out for the birthday meal
LA C had something
close to food poisoning
she stayed in watching the ceiling spin
and I ate chips and club soda for dinner
because no on ...NO ONE
was at work in the resort
no one to call for say advice on
who to order in from
no one to ask
hello can i have a %$#^& sandwich
and La C moaning in the bed and NOT in a good way..
but i digress
on our last day
we went out for a lovely lunch
in the RAIN
and then stayed for a our late check out
and sampled the appetizers at the FINALLY open
the cosmo tasted like it had no lime or triple sec
the sauce for the spring rolls was as sweet as sorbet which is NOT what you want with a shrimp roll
and i found something small, dead and weird in my salad
that i think was either a huge bug
or a rotten piece of something from somewhere that i donít want to know about
as a chef
and as well a human
i was rather pissed off at the sunset
although I will admit that Alistair did some great
soothing work on moi...i think he put drugs in my tea..yeah, yeah that's it..
but you know
she got all the rest she so dearly needed
she was so tranquil and happy
and we were both so THIN
FROM NOT EATING
that she pronounced it the best birthday ever
and i must say
yes i would go back
the room was lush and lovely
and the beach Iím sure would be wonderful in the sun
EVER go back
the day after labor day
250 bucks a night to be treated like chopped liva?!
It coulda stayed in Manhattan and dressed up like a tourist
if i wanted to be treated like that darlings
Tuesday, September 2
New Memoir, Old Fears and Moving On
I'm taking La C away for a few days on a secret mini vacation for her birthday.
Shhhhhh. She has no idea where I'm taking her.
But I'll tell you this, it's on the beach (although it's raining AAAK).
It's romantic (ok well the rain works here).
and mostly it's away from work, responsibility and well work.
To keep you entertained until I return sometime on Thursday, I thought I'd put up a whole new memoirable.
I call this one "Rabbi's and Mozzarella."
So reach on over to the "Memoirable" button and click to read.
Meanwhile all the New Jersey I sucked in at the Bruce concert the other day is sending me into some wicked Dejavus land, so you can expect more memoirables sometime soon.
By the way if you haven't already please go over to Michele at Smallvictory on my linkie love list and check out her "Voices" project. Add your story to the list of voices of "911" if you have something in your soul burning to get out.
Personally I've been thinking a lot about "911" the last few days, actually I should say I've been thinking a lot about it since the black out. I think the black out dragged me back in a way I was not expecting.
I know a lot of you who started reading my site in the year from Sept 11th 2001 to September 11th 2002, might have noticed an extreme lack of posting on the subject of "911" considering it was all I talked about for a year.
Well sweeties, that was because on the one year anniversary, La Cubana so immersed me in everything "911" that I was finally filled enough to be fed up.
I think I went past, love, fear, horror, sadness, shock, soul searching of my feelings over that terrible morning and into something more like obsession..
It's odd to say but "911" became something of an addiction for me and I had to just walk away from it, try not to talk about it, try not to think about it and just move on for at least a year.
Now coming on the two year anniversary, I find myself gingerly ready to start talking about it..however cautiously, but wary, so wary that I don't find myself sucked in to a dark place.
I've spoken with my pal and mentor Nancy formely of Jillmatrix.com, now of Queerday.com and told her my idea for this month.
I think what feels right to me is to re-post my posts from two years ago starting on September 12th. I don't know how many I will do, maybe a week's worth, maybe a couple weeks. I'm just gonna feel it through. I am also going to do something else that I have not done before and that is to post some of the photos that I took or were taken of me at ground zero. I guess this will part of my healing and hopefully be a proper way to acknowledge the anniversary.
and don't be surprised if after i re-post these pieces and write whatever pours out of my heart during this month of September, that the subject of "911" doesn't come up on this site too often again..
I don't know, some of the volunteers from ground zero are getting together for a reunion at the non-profit help center called "The September Space" on the anniversary.
The September Space invites me to events all the time and I always feel a pull to go, but then I start to feel like a Vet of some short terrible war who keeps getting together with the buddies to relive something instead of moving on..
So I never go, only been there once..
I have to keep marching forward...
If if do go to that Reunion I have to make sure it's to heal and see perhaps some familiar faces for the first time, un-covered from dust and ash and maybe cry or hug or something
IF I do not go, then I'll find my own way
But my way has got to be forward into the light
I can not
get sucked back in again to that dark, smoky place
yes i did see the most beautiful heroism
the best of humanity in those days
and that's the part I want to keep with me
i want to leave behind
even now nearly two years later
i do not feel like i have the right to mourn "911"
as i did not lose a loved one
even now i am conflicted on so many levels
but i do know this
that it needs to stay behind me
not alongside me
and not in front of me
wish me luck
Monday, September 1
The New Jersey Girl Returns to Springsteen
my best gal pal Tralena, tray, trala
tres as the French say for VERY
took me for a surprise belated birthday gift last night
all she would say was that it was a revival of sorts
and that for me it would be like going home
i was scared
let me tell you full on nervous
well first of all
Tres has a wicked sense of humour
so i was thinking either she was sending me to a pentecostal church
to an all-you-can-eat buffet in new jersey
well i was part right
she was sending me to new jersey
but not to eat
to a Bruce Springsteen concert at Giant Stadium!!
okay now let me back
you see Tres knows
what most of you don't
which is that
i did not leave my home on the Jersey Shore
at the grand old age of 16
feeling happy and tranquil
and ready to take on the big city
in fact i spent the last 3 years i lived in Rumson (fancy shmancy little rich town a few minutes from the beach) hating jersey, hating the shore, hating Rumson, hating everything around me about as much as a whale hates harpoons
maybe more, because death by harpooning would have seemed kinder to me
than death by mad boredom and ignorance
you see darlings in my teen years i was a rebel with a cause
my cause was to so shock and horrify my parents that they would let go their
steely claw-like grip and let me fly
i wanted to be an artist to paint wildly
i wanted to sing however badly
i wanted to soar
i wanted to make love to women
i wanted to die my hair pink
i wanted a whole lotta things
that my orthodox jewish family could not fathom
and my super uptight, republican, all-white, all straight, all ivy league, (think the Stepford Wives with more money) could not tolerate
i found salvation in the surrounding beach towns of jersey but there
for every renegade rocker with a sense of adventure that i found, there would be a dozen rednecks who could think of nothing better than to beat up on gay men
the jersey shore from 1978 to 1981 was no place for a girl who loved girls
died her hair pink fuscia and purple and wore leather
and everything that i wanted to escape
everything that i hated
everything wrong with the red neck, beer drinking, gay bashing, ignorant fuckwads that so hated was wrapped up in Bruce Springsteen
they hated Punk, but loved Bruce
they hated gays, but loved Bruce
they hated art, but loved Bruce
honey i hated Bruce on pure principal
if they loved it
that was a good enough reason for me to hate him
i moved to NYC
embraced the punk turned to new wave culture
loved the Cars
loved Gary Numan
loved the Pretenders
loved the Police
loved the Clash
now time has gone by
oh honey a lotta time
after "911" i bought a double CD set
that was put together as a tribute to the heroe's of Septemer 11th
Bruce's ballad "Rise Up" was on that CD
and his rough, dragged through the mud voice cooing
"Come On Rise Up...Come on Rissseeee Up....My city's in Ruins..."
well that pretty much voiced everything that was sitting in my ribs..
so i slowly started to soften to "The Boss."
okay I still wasn't willing to admit out loud that i was starting to like him
but i stopped saying I hated him
hell even Jersey had changed
Rumson had become a bonovide ex-patriot paradise
and little quaint towns on the jersey shore like Ocean Grove were being massively infiltrated by gay men
and of course, La Cubana loves him
well anyone who wrote "Born to Run"
would be a hero to La C
who values Freedom more than anything else
Im guessing Castro had something to do with that
but i digress
So Tres took me to the concert
the biggest ass concert ive every been to honey
a Springsteen concert in New Jersey
the last for what might be years
i heard there were a 100,000 people there
and i believe it
i did get a little panicky in the crowd
especially when a plane flew over a tad too low for my nerves
amazing how much "911" has changed us hmmm
but Bruce put on a hellavuah show
the guy works hard for his money
he did 3 encores
and then after we'd walked into the stadium hall
he pulled out another song
and man did that crowd love him
they knew all the words
all the beats
all the right times to raise their fists in the air
far too many of them looked like people i went to high school with
and far too many of them looked like
big beer belly guys who beat up on gay men
the joint rocked
and after a begrudging
hour of just tapping my foot
i started to rock too
you did it
you sucked me in
besides anyone who writes the kinda stuff he wrote
deserves credit for at least
giving a voice to our sorrow
and i guess i've gotten far enough
and long enough away
from Rumson New Jersey
to admit out loud
I'm from New Jersey
but after 22 years
you better bet
that I'm all new yorker now
come on Riseee up
come on riseeeeeee uppppppp
don't worry darlings
i can only get sucked so far in
i still hate