Buy the CD. It’s got really loud noises on it.
Wanna go back? Lyrics are here
Hard to argue the point. Lyrics are here.
Hey….somebody has to. Right? These are the types of things insomniacs think about when all of you normal people are sleeping. Lyrics are here.
Wrote this after attending a Red Barons game with my daughter and noticing the pitcher who seemed old enough to be the father of some of the kids on the team. Lyrics are here. I’ve done this song live lots of times but never recorded it.
Yesterday was the anniversary, not today. But I didn’t feel like thinking on it yesterday. Enough was being said. I just wanted to listen.
But today is the day after. Not sure if any of us remember the moment we woke up on the 12th. What were we thinking then? Surely that the world had somehow shifted….but nobody could have imagined by how much.
In 2001 I worked in a tiny rented office with 2 other guys. Eventually, both of them got whacked. So it was just me in there. Two small rooms and a fax machine that got ruined when the toilet on the next floor overflowed and spilled shit and piss all over it. All I had for company was a CD player and my dog. I miss Kiko. She died a few years ago. Her ashes are in my china closet and buried in the backyard, only because I could never find any way to wear them around my neck without looking like a girl. Anyway, she was the greatest dog ever. I have a dog now too. She’s the second greatest dog ever.
My sister called me and said something about plane and the World Trade Center. She wasn’t hysterical or anything. Just really confused…watching it unfold while it happened. It was before the 2nd plane hit, and I think everybody thought it was some sort of freak accident. I tried to get to CNN.com but the site was overloaded. Made sense. Lots of people were curious. So I hung up and waited for more news. I figured there’d be an explanation.
Then another call. A second plane. What the fuck? I think my Mom called me too. She was getting her hair done…and was watching the TV in the beauty parlor.
The office next door was a doctor or an insurance company or something like that. I never really paid that much attention. But I’d seen the lady who worked in there a few times and we’d say hello back and forth. She must have thought I was a bookie or something….alone in an office all day with a dog and a smelly fax machine. But I went over and she was listening to the news on the radio. Nobody ever went in there so she was alone at the front desk. Her husband had called her and told her something was happening. She mentioned something about more planes. Still in the air. The US capital. The White House. What the fuck?
Then I remembered. I had a CD player in my office. A boom box. Old fashioned now but the thing did have a radio. I’d forgotten. So I went back over and turned to NPR I think. That’s when I heard.
The voice said one tower had fallen. And then another. It didn’t register. Fallen? Like a drunk on the sidewalk? Maybe they meant to say the roof on one of the floors had collapsed or something. It was too much to get my head around. So I just heard what I wanted to hear. After a while I think I even turned the radio off and got some work done. My mind just sort of disengaged. I know people say they’ll never forget where they were when they heard the news, and that’s true. I can’t forget that either. But the hours after I heard it are hazy. I can’t remember feeling anything other than bewilderment. The Tali-hoo? Osama bin who? At the time these words didn’t exist in our lexicon.
When I got home I turned on the TV.
It took seeing it to make it real. They were “gone”. Literally. Rubble. You could see the smoke from space. Remember hearing that info for the first time?
The Pentagon. And western Pennsylvania. All the planes were accounted for now. The country was already in lock-down mode. Everybody was calling everybody else, even though there wasn’t anything you could say. You just wanted to feel connected to someone. I can’t imagine having to go through that day isolated and alone.
But I think back on it now and wonder why I had to, quite literally, see it to believe it. It’s not that I didn’t trust what the radio was telling me. It’s just that the images they were trying to convey were not available in my head. I think part of being an American comes with it a sense of invulnerability. We fight wars yes. But we fight them over there. Bombs go off sure. But they go off over there. People die. But they die over there. And there is anyplace but here.
It was such a quaint little notion….to use a Bush-ism. Remember when Goldwater said “extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice” and lost by about a billion votes because everybody, in their heart, knew he was nuts? Man, those were the days weren’t they?
Now we get stripped searched to board a plane and oversee a gulag in Cuba. Did a pack of wild-eyed virgins with box cutters really lead to all….this?
Battle ground states in the last few elections are laid out the same as they were 1861. In case you forgot, that’s when we killed each other to the tune of 600,000 plus. In order to form a more perfect union.
In short, September 11th 2001 has made us batshit crazy. We’re mad as hell and we’re not gonna take it anymore. So we’re gonna blame somebody, and dammit it if you ain’t with us you’re with the terrorists. And by the way lets burn out them lesbians across the street and firebomb Planned Parenthood.
Used to be all we worried about was the communists. I guess they don’t make commies anymore?
We need an enemy. Enemies make the world go ’round. Economies are built on them. Fortunes are made…and lost. It’s dreadfully important to the bottom line. Unfortunately for the vast majority, peace is not profitable.
We sure as shit have an enemy now. And that makes it so easy, especially when their fringe starts doing what fringes usually do (and really….you must choose a deity with thicker skin…no?). We’ve gotten ourselves immersed in 2 full blown wars and numerous skirmishes since that day in September….and the opposition party is tugging at the leash to have at Iran. The body count thus far is exponentially higher than the tally of the towers. But, that’s the price of doing business I guess.
I wouldn’t have believed it if I didn’t see it myself.
In a bit…
Wrote this song as soon as I finished a remarkable book called “In Harm’s Way”, detailing the extraordinary story of the USS Indianapolis. The event itself is largely known through Robert Shaw’s famous monologue in the movie “Jaws”. The song was subsequently used in a video put together by the organizer of the USS Indianapolis survivors group, who continue to meet at least once a year. It’s an astounding story and a song I’m very proud of.
Lyrics are here..