I was in Paris this 9-11 and didn’t get a chance to take the photo that I would have. It would have been something to honor my friend. It would have been an image that perhaps attempted to capture how I still feel today. A wilted flower…..a family crying…an endless vista…or maybe a dragon fly….she loved dragon flies. We were suppose to have lunch that coming weekend. I just moved back to Jersey from Baltimore and she recently moved to Hoboken with her new boyfriend. She was happy. We talked on the phone and you can tell we were both smiling. That’s the effect we had on each other. No matter what, I was there for her and she was there for me. We were the odd couple in college. Dome, a raver chick with funky hair and over-sized clothes and shoes hiding her tiny 5′ frame. Me, a thugish looking cat (if I could be thugish looking and still be in college) with dreadlocks and a cold tooth (yes, I had a gold tooth in college! don’t judge me, I was young…and actually if I could have afforded at the time I would have had a complete front grill 🙂 ). We met on the bus going to campaign for then Governor Jim Florio – it was one of those jobs that college kids do just to make a few extra bucks. It was my crew and the raver girls hanging in the back of the bus and me and Dome hit it off and became instant friends. Even after college and going our separate ways we still remained great friends. I sent her and her mom postcards from all of my trips. When I became a photographer she got the very first postcard I made myself. She made me happy. Hearing her voice and giving her a hug always did the trick. When Sunday came I called and there was no answer….I thought she forgot about our brunch plans. I know it was a crazy week with what happened to the World Trade Center and I know everyone could use a familiar friend to get through uncertain times. Her mom called me first….”Shawn, we still can’t find her.” What! what do you mean? She didn’t work in the towers, her office was in midtown. What is she talking about? “Dome was in the south tower for a training. She was on the 80th floor. Shawn…..my baby girl is gone.” My friend is gone. The person who I would be friends with forever is gone. The one who would always make me smile…is gone. She wasn’t suppose to be there. This could happen to me. She didn’t work in the towers! We were going to grow old together. Our families were going to be friends forever. I would have been a godfather to her kids and she a godmother to mine.
The world is cruel. It gives you something special and then takes it away without warning.
My heart has been a bit heavier since 9/11/04..or perhaps the better way to put it, is something is missing. I lost a truly special person and I think about her often.