After the Aftermath

First Ave at MiddayTomorrow it’s Monday, and hopefully the nation will have finally crawled out from under the misery-fueled lethargy of the past week. The mandate now is to return to normalcy, because anything else would be tantamount to an acquiescence to terror. It remains to be seen whether, as a society, we know how to do that yet, whether we know how to leave behind the truly disorienting aftermath that gripped us for days. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to forget it. I don’t mean just the two crashes that felled the World Trade Center towers — that goes without saying. What I mean is, I’m not sure I’ll be able to leave behind the stupor, the silent confusion that followed it. Or at the very least, I’ll never be able to forget the site of Manhattan’s normally bustling First Avenue on the day immediately after the terror, when it was six lanes abandoned to nothingness.