Today we don't talk politics.
Today we reflect.
Reflect on memories of a day that begin like every other. I remember waking up that morning. I don't remember going to sleep that night. Flatbush Ave. was flooded with survivors. Covered in dust, dirt and blood. Walking over the Manhattan Bridge in the thousands. Brooklyn Hospital was packed. No more blood needed. I thought about picking up a gun for the first time in my life. Defend my city. Planes rumored to be over the Potomac headed for the White House. I saw Michael Jackson the night before at Madison Square Garden. My girlfriend had just moved to New York City a few days earlier. She has been here 11 years since. Michael Jackson was incredible the night before. My best friend was staying at the Marriot next to the World Trade Center the day before. He went back to Los Angeles on the 10th. The 11th is his birthday. Happy birthday Mikey. My life-long friend worked on top of one of those big towers. I frantically tried to call him. I couldn't get a line. The cell phones were big back then. We use to sit in the bleachers at Yankee Stadium and talk shit. And before that we use to rip tickets at Shakespeare In The Park and made minimum wage. Love that dude. My brother called. His friend's brother was missing. My mentor's wife worked for Cantor. All of their employees were unaccounted for. About 40 TVs in a downtown Brooklyn office building gave us more confusing news. Other planes crashed. Pennsylvania. The Pentagon. I still don't know what time I went to sleep that night. I remember waking up. My mother called me and said that a plane hit the World Trade Center. Then she called again and said another plane hit. I ran to my roof. Over the river I could see two buildings on fire. It wasn't far. Just over the river. Brooklyn ain't far. Thank God my girlfriend left her glasses in the apartment. Her view was a little fuzzy. The lady who lived in the penthouse apartment was dialing a number over and over and over again. Her fiance. Never called back. My life-long friend finally called me back. He didn't go to work that day. Relief. For 3 seconds, relief. We sat there and just stared at two burning buildings. Every few minutes, people would jump. One at a time. Two at a time. Five at a time. I saw people die that day. Some holding hands. Some with their hands over their eyes. An image I still see in my sleep. I guess that's why I couldn't sleep last night. Memories. Scattered Memories.
Michael Skolnik is the Editor-In-Chief of GlobalGrind.com and the political director to Russell Simmons. Prior to this, Michael was an award-winning filmmaker. Follow him on twitter @MichaelSkolnik