Thursday, April 1, 2010

Hollow Road

Hey man, I'm thinking yesterday as this young guy yammers into a cell phone, he's walking behind me, No one is interested. I stop, let him pass so I can figure out which route to take, hall, stairs or escalator. I'll take the one he doesn't: No one wants to hear this. He's doing business he thinks; he thinks he's accomplishing two things at once, leaving the building and working there. He's a genius. I've spent part of the day reading Les Misérables on-line at my desk; I've finished the part about Waterloo. I'm on the wrong side of history: I wished Napoleon had won--like when I read The Killer Angels, I wanted the South to win Gettysburg. Blunders and trick of fate; here an intelligence failure, there something misheard: young men posturing, yammering, throwing themselves at each other.


Phone boy takes the escalator so I parallel down the stairs, suddenly not in the mood for the hall route past the Ground Zero tourists missing their pit: all that visualizing, no wonder the pace of construction is slow here. Where I wouldn't be working if the towers were still there, there; this is for sure for so many reasons, not the least being that I couldn't stand the cold drafts in the shadows that they used to cast, the whole neighborhood dim and chill under their awesome looming. Now, what? Can't keep our pit, can't live without it. Tower and pit, that's the ticket: Still collapsing in a cloud of matter every time you look in its direction, still emitting screams and blood spray--it's a memorial, alright; but simultaneously, it's not. The fat new tower is rising, trucks are driving back and forth, while across smaller and smaller holes, little men are signalling to each other: Forward--Wait--Forward.

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