When I think of today, one of the images that pops into my head is that of flyers.
That’s what covered New York City in the aftermath of 9.11. Flyers and flyers and flyers and flyers and flyers. HAVE YOU SEEN and HAS BIRTHMARK ON RIGHT HAND and WE WANT HER BACK HOME and PLEASE CALL WITH INFORMATION. The flyers were, in many ways, the worst part of the weeks that followed. Because, even as we read them, we knew no one was being found; no one was coming home. It was like living through a life-sized obituary section, with no beginning and no end.
Then, as weeks turned to months, the flyers started to fade away. They’d yellow, rip. You’d see some blowing on the streets, or tossed in the trash. They became remnants, wanted by some, unwanted by others. I kept a handful, and placed them in my scrapbook.
But, truth be told, I don’t need to read them.
I can see them whenever I close my eyes.