Msnowe's Blog

Vacant Adventure

Posted in Uncategorized by m.snowe on August 8, 2007

The post is late, and if you were commuting in NYC this morning, you would understand why. The trains were blocked, the subways flooded, the buses out of service, the taxis forever filled with other lucky commuters who you never actually see getting in or out.

Hating to conform to the cliché, this blog tries to avoid topics covered extensively by a million others. But when you get a new angle on a squandered topic, you give it a go.

The train was diverted and suddenly it was scooting by the makeshift World Trade Center station, actually passing side-by-side the gashed foundation, and the blue-lit iron structures peeking out of the wreckage. It was as if the wall between the train and the empty implosion spot had been blasted away, pellmell, to fashion a unique viewing window for the passengers. There was business afoot in the trapezoid void, and dirt mounds rolling in spots, sharp and jutting in others.

The train gives no fair warning – you are suddenly thrust into the din, and though you see the cranes and the construction workers, you can only hear the sounds of the train as you sweep by. It’s unnatural, but it isn’t quite eerie. You feel small, like a hobbit in the hole in the ground, waiting to disembark and seek your adventure elsewhere, — something tells you, this place is not for you. The innards of the train are artificially quiet, some unspoken pact of unspokenness is agreed upon by most. But the hush is completely unnatural because it is a stale reverence, one peppered with annoyed, soggy people looking to get where they truly want to go: anywhere but here.

Diversions have a way of diverting truth. There are auras around cursed places, and they pale people like a thick fog. But the fogginess is a euphemism for the gunk that clouds our minds and judgments when it comes to sense of place. Unexplained mechanisms tinker to life when we are exposed to a forced, yet necessary solemnity. It is unfair. Unfair to pretend, unfair to commit to a few groping moments in the dark to justify our quick summit out and up the stairs, and into a city who’s structures should say nothing, but whisper a million nothings into the overcast skies. But it is also improbable to go about our lives denying an absence. So where do we place ourselves upon the scales of proper conduct in the face of a tragedy that is ours, but not ours, that is present, but well over? I have no shrewd ideas.