One 3x5 American flag = $5.00. One custom made t-shirt = $16.00. One hundred custom cards = $20.00. Standing motionless at Ground Zero on September 11th, wearing a shirt that says ‘9/11 was an inside job!’ and an American flag as a blindfold =
New York has always been my favorite city. From the eccentric honesty of every shade of skin and style to the awe-inspiring-eclectic-architecture, there’s simply no place like it. I always knew I’d live there someday, I just never thought I’d belong there. So, when it came time to hop on the plane and wheel my every earthly possession across the border, it came with a sense of elation and purpose.
“Wow, kill yourself,” an irate teenager snaps as he passes me—standing in the rain amidst an endless stream of people. I can only imagine their faces—my eyes have been closed and covered all day—my vision restricted to a slim slit of feet passing amidst a few remaining protesters talking.
“Why don’t you let those people rest in peace?” an old man bitterly asks. I don’t speak.
“I know people who died when those towers came down and I think what you’re doing is despicable,” a deeply hurt woman states, pausing just long enough for me to feel the power of her words. I don’t move.
The occasional person tugs at the cards in my hand—instructing them to see the truth for themselves and research the matter rather than simply judging me for my opinion on it. But for the most part, I’m overlooked in plain view.
“Heroic move, man,” a passing stranger says.
“That’s powerful shit right there,” someone else exclaims.
I wonder if I’m making a difference; if I’m a freak in their eyes or just another billboard advertising something. I wonder if the dead would want justice; if their families would want revenge. I wonder if the truth matters to people and whether or not hearing it is worth their time. But mostly I wonder how at the end of the day, when my blindfold’s off and I’m riding the subway back home, how I could still have 83 cards left in my hand. But, then again, anyone who knows the truth about 9/11 knows how hard it is to tell people the truth. If only I didn’t have to resort to theatrics to bring attention to the issue. If only people gave a damn even when it wasn’t convenient.
I left New York a few months later—mission accomplished: my short film Blindfold has been completed. But, now that I’m back, I remember my purpose in New York—no matter where I am.