10 years ago, I was alone at home with my daughter. I was 26, she was 6 months-old. We were living in a tiny one-roomed apartment and I was doing my normal things, which consisted mainly in taking care of her, cooking and cleaning. Her father came back home and told me that there had been an attack in New York and he turned on the TV.
These images didn't seem real. Something broke in my heart and the world had suddenly changed. It was a very weird feeling because there I was with my baby and all the joy and happiness that she brought me, and on the other hand the violence of this day, and the pain and anguish and terror that came with it.
20 years ago I was in New York City with my father for the very first time. I was 16. These are the only good memories I have of this sad and difficult period of my life. We went there just the two of us, lovers of New York and America, and we stayed at the Hotel Chelsea. My father had planned this trip with me for a long time, he had organized everything. He wanted me to know that he loved me and he wanted our relationship to get better.
We went everywhere. Had lunch in Harlem. Crossed the Brooklyn Brigde at the end of the day to see the sunset over the bridge. Soho where I bought my red Reebok sneakers and hip hop earings. The Village. The 5th Avenue. I remember the 1-dollar hotdogs that we used to buy for lunch. My father had bought a minitape recoder to record our trip, we didn't have fancy cameras or i-phones at that time. I was listening to Roberta Flack on my walkman. I remember Kevon who I made friend with. He was a black guy from the Bronx who was working in our hotel.
When I came back home, the little village where we were living was too small for me and I couldn't get out of my bedroom and my dreams. We came back to our problems at home, the arguments and misunderstanding. But I will never forget this trip with my father, and will always cherish these moments as one of the best times in my life.
Today I've got New York on my mind. My heart is sad ang goes to all the people who suffered from 9.11.01, and I want to believe that the world will get better and that out of the pain come the best things...
|My father, in Manhattan, 20 years ago...|