A Piece of Information

The heat wave has broken, and we’ve all gotten back to work. Fewer beach trips, vacations over, barbecues past.

Just last week I was on a mad hunt for an air conditioner, and when I learned that there were none left to buy in the city of Los Angeles, I began searching for a window fan. The outcome was the same. Luckily, temperatures dipped, and a cool breeze made its way into my home office. The softer light and gentler air reminds me of Autumn (that’s all Autumn is in Los Angeles – a memory), and I find myself missing New York.

But then, out of curiosity, I look at the weather, and it’s 91 degrees in Manhattan today. I remember that on September 11th, 2001, it was also hot. Not in the 90’s, but in the 80’s, I’d guess. I remember because I was wearing black rayon slacks and black leather oxfords, and, at 10:00 in the morning, I was hot.

I’ve written about that morning before. But there is something I left out of the story: as I ran down Broadway, trying to hail a cab to get back home, I heard a ripping sound. My rayon pants had split along the rear seam. I navigated the rest of the way home, through dust and debris and panic, with my underwear exposed to the world. A piece of absurdity on a tragic day, that I’ve never told anyone before.

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