9.11 and after

Sept. 11, 2:22 p.m.
On a pier south of the Brooklyn Bridge.

People here struck up conversations with strangers or simply announced their opinions about what had happened to anyone within earshot. There was already talk of retaliation.

I didn't really think about retaliation that day. When someone steps on an anthill, the ants don't start plotting revenge. They scramble around in a panic, then start digging out and trying to get on with their business. I think a lot of people in the city felt like this at first. It was as if we had been hit by some horrible natural disaster. Perhaps the idea that someone had planned this was too hard to accept.