Manhattan: Tales of the Aftermath.
 President Bush Comes To Town.
   by  Ray Berry

5:15 pm, Friday, September 14th, 2001    The weather got much colder this afternoon and the sun finally
came out from the storm within minutes of President Bush landing.

The president is touring ground zero right now.  I am watching him on live tv speaking on a bullhorn to the
fireman and police at the World Trade Center site.  The local tv reporters seem thrilled at his doing such
a good job. One excited reporter is saying, “Well, he was a cheerleader at Yale.”

I may have been wrong about the president’s visit seeming premature. It appears that the valiant the men
and woman on the ground at the site needed the commander in chief’s support in deep tribal ways we
cannot fathom from midtown.  We are not in the muddy trenches today. The catastrophe site is isolated.
Since I can’t get downtown I have the same sense of the crime scene being a bad B-movie at times like the
rest of the world from the scenes on tv.

The most awesome thing happening right now is the F-16 Fighter Jets flying overhead. I can hear them so
clearly in my loft and catch fleeting glimpses of them going by my windows. Fighter Jets and police sirens of
different pitches are sounding an uneasy symphony that sure keeps one’s attention. It is hard to even
understand what my ears are hearing. I honestly keep wondering if the jets make me feel secure or just add
to my uneasiness.  Hmmmm.  Honestly, they add.

The local politicians in the last few hours have all expressed how important they feel it is for President
Bush to see the carnage. So many Democrat politicians in the region are actually thrilled he came to town
they saying things like this. “NYC needs to be rebuilt. President Bush needs to see this carnage for
himself. He must understand the huge economic cost we have to undertake. We are all just Americans now.
We are not partisan at this time. President Bush is going to help us. He must understand the costs in human
lives and in dollars. He must...”

( In New York City it is reported that Democrats outnumber Republicans five to one.)

*Last night we had an incredible rain storm. It was like a summer storm with tremendous thundering and
bright lightning. I woke up about three a.m. quite startled thinking we were being bombed.  (So many
other people also told me they woke up thinking the city was being bombed) My loft was shaking from the
massive thunderclaps. It took me a few minutes to even begin to figure out what was going on. As the rain
fell on my roof above my loft bed, I just couldn’t stop thinking about the fireman downtown searching for
corpses. I tossed and turned for the rest of the night.

I feel the city is quite relieved this afternoon.
“TGIF.”  Many of my friends who have corporate jobs in midtown had to switch gears so fast in the last few
days that they are deeply fatigued on the emotional level. They only had one day off to try to adjust to
the changes that didn’t even seem real when they returned to their offices.

We are so proud of the firefighters, police, Port Authority workers extremely difficult jobs they are
doing downtown. There are no words for their sacrifices and dedication.

As I close, the F-16’s are making a really LOUD racket at sundown that is increasing in volume.  Round and
round and round they fly in circular formations.  Bush is someplace else in town now and they are not telling
us. I only hear the grating sounds of the jet engines and helicopters.  I feel Bush must be at the Jacob
Javits Convention Center on the Hudson near my loft.
The helicopters and jets are circling so loudly I can’t hear the sirens anymore.
Honestly, I hope Bush leaves town soon.  And somehow in this upside down city today,
truthfully, I will personally feel safer when he leaves town.

I may feel quite differently about Bush’s visit later in the night after he is gone, and I can see it on a
detached emotional level on TV. This is real time now as I write and how I feel.  I also seem to watch my
emotions change hourly right now as do many Americans.

Tv reporters are saying six hundred dead  now counted, and four to five thousand people unaccounted for at
this time.  The New York Post reported that all the debris from the site is being taken to the closed land
fill in Staten Island where a massive operation of sifting through everything is now occurring out of
sight of the general public. The mayor is trying his best to clear a public path down to Wall Street
tomorrow for pedistrians on the lower East Side.

*Special Note:  I am writing these missives in real time in one shot. They express my confusion and honest
emotions at the time of writing. If you find them offensive or upsetting please don’t read them. I, like you go
through a plethora of emotions and feelings during a given day.  I never intended these diaries to be so widely
published and forwarded on the net.  I wrote the first one on September 11, just to let the 400 Democrats who
subscribed to my Bush-Toons newsletter know I was “sort of okay” here in Manhattan.

So many of my new friends wrote me back and asked me to continue. I am trying to do so. I never claimed to
be a good writer, and often in these emotional missives there are many errors.  The information is so
upsetting at times for this artist when I am trying to honestly reveal my thoughts, that I just cannot see
the errors.  Please forgive me on that count.  I am also having isp troubles and the delays in the diaries
reaching you have a tremendous lag. Please look at the time frame with special note when reading them and
remember what you also may have been feeling and seeing on the news at the time.

*Also if you are receiving these diaries as email forwards. I am a democrat artist with no affiliations or support
systems with anyone! I make no bones about these thoughts being solely my own, or that I am part of the
necessary voice of the loyal opposition in a partisan way in NORMAL times.  But - we are not in normal times.

I am also a very loyal American patriot in heart and soul- now and always!
I support ALL of our federal, state, and local leaders at this crucial time.

*This diary, like my original Bush-Toons has just taken on a life of its on in the internet.  I have
really enjoyed the kind and supportive emails from around the world. I read them all, and enjoy hearing
from other places immensely. Manhattan still feels like an island jail, and for the first time in a
quarter century, I, like so many people here have also expressed,  feel quite lonely even though we are
surrounded by millions of people.

More tomorrow

Very fatigued.  Best.

Rayberry ©, Manhattan.  6:25 pm, Friday, September
14th, 2001

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