Yesterday was our 15th wedding anniversary. That’s right. Our anniversary is 9/11. Thanks, terrorists, for fucking-up our special day. Oh…AND my city. When we got married, I thought the confluence of numbers–9/11/99–was a fortuitous thing.

We didn’t get married on THE 9/11. That’s how we spent our second anniversary. We were both working in Midtown Manhattan and living on the Lower East Side. All hell broke loose and we had to walk home. My Bride was seven months pregnant. She was wearing heels that weren’t suitable for a 45-block, four-avenue walk so we stopped into the Duane Reade and bought a pair of plastic flats. It took all day to get home because we had to stop for frequent rests. By the time we got home her feet looked like pieces of raw meat. I remember it being really pretty outside. Azure sky and cool temps. 100% clarity. The focus was sharp.

The transit system was shut down and the avenues were choked with pedestrians. It’s the first (and only) time I’ve seen New Yorkers inconvenienced and not complain about it. A military demarcation line was established south of Houston St. There was a gauntlet of armor personnel carriers and very large guns. In order to get to our apartment we had to show ID. That went on for three weeks. Once inside our apartment, we had to shut the windows because the air stunk like a combination of an electrical fire and burnt hair. The Trade Center was (had been) just a mile away.

We moved out of the city four months later. Our move had nothing to do with the attack. At that time, Avenue B was no place to raise a little girl. The wheels for the move had already been set in motion. We had bid on a house and were disembarking for the suburbs. I felt awful about leaving. It felt like we were abandoning the city in her time of need.

We didn’t celebrate our anniversary for the next four years. It didn’t feel right. But then we got back on our feet and decided to reclaim what was rightfully ours–just like my shining citadel on the hill did.

15 years is pretty good run. A lot of people don’t make it to 15 months. In all that time, I’ve never once thought of bailing out. Not once! I’m serious! Isn’t that miraculous?

The women I’ve known I wouldn’t let tie my shoe
They wouldn’t give you the time of day
But [My Bride] knocked me off my feet
God I was glad I found her

Rod Stewart
Every Picture Tells a Story

wed 3

Look how black my hair used to be. So sad.