Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Leaving On A Jet Plane

"You’re in my seat.” Said The Man.
“I don’t think so, uh 19A?”
“Yeah, that’s the window; you’re in the aisle.”

Why do men always have to be right?

I moved over and something about this guy seemed familiar. I gave him the side-eye a few times. Finally, so as not to appear to be the stalker that I clearly am, I told him he looked familiar to me.

“Well, I’ve been on TV.” In LA that is just not enough information to narrow down the memory.
“What were you on?”
“Oh my God, you’re the blind guy that sat at the counter.”
“Yeah, for five and a half years.”
“I never watched the show.”

I know, I’m quite the little moron, aren’t I? How in the fuck did I know he was the blind guy if I never watched the show? Thank God he laughed. His name is Alex Desert and unbelievably we live in the same neighborhood, about 15 blocks apart. He was going to see his brother’s show at the Brooklyn Museum and we were returning to LA on the same day, same plane.

Somehow we ended up talking about sweets, because I think he’s one of those guys who can take them or leave them. In other words, a mental patient.

“My parents only bought us that big box of Neapolitan ice cream.” I said.
“That’s so ghetto.” He replied, laughing. I had to laugh, I guess it is ghetto.

We flew over Lake Erie and Nanticoke, Ontario, Canada. The Nanticoke are an Indian tribe and I wonder how they got their name and how much an ounce goes for up there?
This was the apartment in a doorman building that my friend Henriette Mantel hooked me up with for five days. This was the view from the balcony looking into Central Park. I have lovely friends, don’t I? I also have to thank Hen’s friend Lynn, who was generous enough to lend it to me. I went to Ground Zero. This is a picture that was taped on an electrical box directly across from it. It was only 4 days past the 6th anniversary so someone wanted to remember this girl and wanted us to remember as well. Seriously, how can we ever forget any of them?

A worker on the site of the new structure.

This was the Deutschland Bank, which was burned and is being rebuilt. It's amazing to see how close some of these buildings were and how they survived that conflagration.

The site of the old World Trade Center.

Henriette told me that Lynn, who gave me her apartment, was only one of three people in her group who survived 9/11. She wrote over 130 eulogies. While I was in her apartment, I moved a little bowl that was next to her bed on the nightstand so I could put my stuff there. A card fell out of the bowl and when I picked it up and turned it over, it was a memorial card for a fireman.

When I got home I read the interview Lynn gave to the 9/11 Task Force (she was Deputy Commissioner at the time) and I cried through most of it. I don’t understand why ball players get a lot of money and firemen don’t. I love Michael Jordan but he’s not a hero. Reading this interview, you realize that firemen never fumble the ball. Or strike out at bat. Or miss a three-pointer.


End of chat.


  1. Amen. We had people from our organization fly out in the aftermath and help customers rebuild their IT structures and systems. We helped (donated to these business, went onsite) them clean up information on systems etc. My customers were in NYC/NJ area. It was a terribly sad time. Our fireman/first responders here in this town are all volunteers. They've helped my family quite a few times.

  2. Regarding your question, "Why do men always have to be right?" That might apply to the single ones. Married (and formerly married) men know better!

  3. Every Saturday my husband comes home with a big box of Neapolitan ice cream. T loves it, I could take it or leave it. Cake I cannot leave, or pizza or cookies, white wine...
    He also loves the show Becker.

  4. Anonymous12:31 PM

    I believe the reason sports dudes are heroes is that somehow they have gotten huge corporations to pay money to buy ad time during their games. Until some huge corporation sponsors the fire department, nothing will change. I still think it's fabulous that the Honolulu Fire Department has surfboards attached to their trucks. Oh, it's not for their lunch breaks, but it's easier for them to do water rescues going through the surf with a board.
    Hang 10,
    Martha Jane

  5. surcie1:07 PM

    He let you take his picture! I love it.