ten years ago today…

…i was in my bathroom and my cell phone rang.
it was my mother.
“planes have hit the world trade center and the pentagon”, she said, with a franticness in her voice that took me aback.
i rushed upstairs to lee’s and we turned on his ancient television to the news.

it is the first and last time i have watched television at home, in my 11 years of living here.
new york is only a few hundred miles south of boston. we live a few dozen blocks from the highest buildings in boston. i wondered if they would come down.

marisa came up, and sandhia, who were living on the first floor then.

and we watched the towers collapse, live.
in the first heartbeats, i was ashamed at how excited i was.

no death toll yet, just the knowledge that we were watching history, and maybe entering world war three.
my friends in new york.
my ex, the actor, he was down there.

he went after we broke up. a few months before.
we hadn’t been talking.
it hadn’t been pretty.

i called him.
it all came together and it all collapsed.


here’s the footage of the song.

it’s from two years later, in 2003, when the dresden dolls were still relatively tiny and unknown, in boston at the paradise lounge….
playing to probably 100 people.



you can have washington i’ll take new jersey
you can have london but i want new york city

i should get providence i’ve got a job now
los angeles – obvious – that’s where you belong now

you can have africa, asia, australia
as long as you keep your hands off café pamplona

we can split germany right down the middle
you’d hate it there, anyway
take berlin and we’ll call it even

you can take all of the carry-on baggage
i’ll trade the saskia jokes for the alphabet language

and summer vacations we’ll split between parents

who forced us to hate them on alternating weekends

you call it over, and i call you psycho
significant other?
just say we were lovers and we’ll call it even
we’ll call it even

i am the ground zero ex-friend you ordered
disguised as a hero to get past your borders
i know when i’m wanted i’ll leave when you ask me to
mind my own business and speak when i’m spoken to

i am the tower around which you orbited
i am not proud i am just taking orders
i fall to the ground within moments of impact
i hit back if hit
and attack if attacked

you get route 2 between concord and lexington
i want mass ave from the square to my apartment

and if we should meet through some misunderstanding
i’ll be very sweet, very patient, and forgiving
(now get off my side of the state)

and if we should meet one another in passing
despite these techniques there is sometimes no avoiding
(there must be some kind of mistake)

we’ll raise high our white flags and say “hi” and shake hands
declaring the land we’re on unamerican
we’ll call it even

i am the tower around which you orbited
i am not proud i am just taking orders
i fall to the ground within moments of impact
i hit back if hit
and attack if attacked

i am an accident waiting to happen
i’m laughing like mad while you strangle the captain
my place may be taken, but make no mistake
from a little black black box i can say without shame
that you’ve lost
do you know what you’ve lost?

so take whatever you’d like
i’ll strike like the States on fire
you won’t sleep very tight
no hiding
no safe covers
make your bed and now lie
just like you always do
you can fake it for the papers, but i’m on to you….


it remains one of my favorite dresden dolls’ songs.


p.s. if you’re wondering….it’s the final song on the dolls’ self-titled. you can get it over on that site where all my other music is.

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