11 August, 2005

Little Old Men Impart Wisdom

During my mad dash to make my appearance at two offices this morning I ended up on a PATH train heading into the World Trade Center at about 10:30 am. What strikes me as sort of sad is the fact that I make the run on this particular train with this particular view 3 to 4 times per week. And it never ceases to amaze me that my reaction is always the same. I look up, take a deep breath in, breathe, ponder the world for a moment, take notice of everyone else around me, curse my luck for both being here and not being here and then I get off the train and walk to the subway. A memorial unto it’s self. This pit of dirt and steel and rubble is. Perhaps instead of building a new monolith to revere the dead, the politicians would be better off leaving the big sucking hole in the ground, a constant reminder to everyone of what we lost here.

This morning the train was empty and I sat across from a rather lithe 85 year old well dressed man. He sported a blue blazer, a starched shirt and tie combo that would rival any Harvard grad, pressed pants and nice shoes. He was reading the paper and making notes to himself. I imagine he was on his way to met his partner on Wall Street somewhere. Probably has a seat on the Exchange that he will pass on to his son and together they will build an empire in futures. I am probably giving this little old man way to much detail, considering that we didn’t utter a single word to each other.

But this morning my back was to the inside of the World Trade Center Big Whopping Hole In the Ground. And I didn’t see it. But I saw him. I saw his face change and become sad and then he crossed himself. And for a moment, I could have sworn I saw his lips move, in some kind of reverent prayer.

For all the hatred and killing that is taking place in this world, this little old man took a moment from his trading paper and said a prayer.

It was nice.