Dark Humor

On the first anniversary of the World Trade Tower Attack I was sitting with two NYPD narcotic detectives in a bar on Avenue B. Rocco and I went back to the Milk Bar and his partner Stevie was telling us about his 9/11

“My sergeant said as we approached the north tower, “Be careful, boys, today a lot of people are going to die.” He barely finished that sentence and a body smashed in front of us and then another and another. We ran for cover. None of us were heroes that day, even though we tried.”

“Shut up, Stevie. You did your best. No one can ask for more.” Rocco drank heavily from his glass.

We each had stories of that tragic, but lost the thread as we eavesdropped on a group of firefighters toasting their fallen comrades.

“Fucking Boy Scouts.”


“Firemen. Everyone thinks they’re heroes, while we’re scum.”

“You got that right, Rocco.” Stevie had been partners with Rocco for eleven years.
Rocco leaned over and started talking loudly about how the firefighters have looted the WTC before its collapse.

“You know there would have been no dead firemen, if someone had posted one sign on the World Trade.”

The firemen at the bar turned as one to our table.

“And what would be on that sign?” Stevie loved playing straight man for his partner.

“Nothing of value inside.” Rocco laughed and slipped a hand under his jacket, as a trio of behemoth NYFD approached us. We were friends of the owner, the firemen had their house around the corner, but this was an old fight between rivals.

“What’d you say?” The largest fireman demanded with clenched fists.

“Just that if the World Trade had nothing to steal, then none of you would have died.”

Rocco laid his Glock on the table without taking his finger off the trigger.

“You’re a fuck.” The biggest fireman waved for his comrades to ignore the insult.

“It was a joke,” explained Stevie. He wasn’t looking for a fight.

“It wasn’t meant to be funny.”
Rocco had lost two friends in the collapse. None of us found much funny about that day.

“Now be happy campers and go back to your drinks. The next round is on me.”

“Fuck you and fuck your drinks.” The biggest fireman forced his friends back to the bar, but they drank Rocco’s round and sent us one too.

“Nice one, Rocco.” Stevie lifted his glasses. We were drinking vodka-tonics.

“To the gone, but not forgotten.”

We downed them in one go and ordered another round.

9/11 is that kind of day.

Remembered forever one way or the other.

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *