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F Sot Fitzgerald

Seeing the first tower tumble drove me batty. I paced about my rotten little "living room", ran my hand through my thinning hair, and fought back tears- I knew firemen and police officers had run to the building, I knew some who worked there hadn't gotten out. They had fallen with the building, and there was just no way they could survive. I was supposed to give a lecture in Manhattan at 2 that day, so I left the apartment to see if the subways were even running. They were. On the way back I heard a jet like roar. Oh no...Another jet. But then a woman on N. 7th hung from her 3rd story window and yelled to someone on the street, "The second tower just fell." I dashed back home and saw the aftermath on TV. It was stunning, jaw slackening, eye puddling. Since then, I've had some time away from work, but, as Walter Lippmann quipped, "the work of the world must go on." How, though, to go on? What you see below has been my own set of tactics for getting on with life. Still, though, every time I see those flyers with misisng loved ones, I teeter toward tears.

1. How have you been spending your days? Contacting everyone I know, letting them I and all my immediate relations are o.k. I've since turned off the TV and dove into stack of magazines that I let pile up. Come night fall, it's a couple of big glasses of Aberlour scotch and a quick slump into sleep.

2. Have you been exercising and doing yoga, or drinking and smoking? I have gone out and jogged a little and done some basic calisthenics. With less and less sunlight due to the seasonal shift, the body is calling for more and more food and sleep. I can't afford to inflate beyond my already tight clothes nor do I have time to sleep for more than 7 hours. Just can't happen. So I exercise. But to put myself down at night, scotch...

3. What books, music, or videos have helped you escape the news? Oddly I haven't rented any movies. Go figure. I have, though, made a point of blaring Clutch whiel I watch C-SPAN. To see a doddering old fart like Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) gesticulating weakly while fat bass rifts are sending quakes through the floor is amusing.

4. What should readers do to have fun in the upcoming days? Try holding some sort of whoop up. Yes, aiding the community through attending benefits and by helping with clothing drives is good, you need to get back to normal lest you freak out entirely. Get smashed, grope someone you don't know, take a slug to the chops. It's part of the healing process.

5. Recommend a tourist attraction, gallery, museum, park, music show, or whatever else you know about going on in New York City. Flee the city and head to the country. Goto the Andirondacks to see the turning leaves. Call up the Mai-Joy in Connecticut (860-443-0663), and go out fishing for some viscious Bluefish (big, dumb, sharp toothed bastards that will yank your arms until you're sore). The ocean views will settle your soul and the struggle will invigorate your spirit. I've been on that boat a few times and each time I step off feeling like Ghengis Khan, soaked with chum and laden with fillets for dinner.

F. Sot Fitzgerald


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