Remembering a film I watched on the one year anniversary and reading excerpts from that film on this link, the story of Brian and Stanley struck me as particularly poignant. What is the line between who survives and who perishes? What twist of fate or stroke of luck makes that difference? All the questions…too many to consider or answer. But many stories such as this one can and should come out of the horrible events of 9/11. That is what I choose to focus on for this tenth anniversary.
The 82nd Floor (Stanley and Brian)
Death is behind him, a wall in front.
In the roar of flame and destruction,
A white noise as never heard before,
As if his fate has already been sealed.
Is that a pounding? Wait…
Yes. Someone is behind that wall.
Waiting. But no, he can’t wait,
The stairs are full of the fleeing.
That feeling, the one when
Dark is behind you, that spurs
You to speed and strength
Like you’ve never known.
Definitely, pounding. Someone
Is there, trying to get out.
Of course he waits. How
Could he not? Waiting…
Striking with all the fear
And panic that has come up
In his throat.
There! A hand…he
Reaches in, grabs something…
A collar, a sleeve? It
Doesn’t matter…just pull!
Yes! A hand grabs him, the
Hole grows larger. How
Could one wall be the
Difference between life and death?
They collapse on the floor, strangers
in a puddle of fear mixed with relief.
And in the midst of the terror, Stanley
and Brian, now friends for life.