1 World Trade Center (1WTC, The Freedom Tower, New York City’s Paragon of Commercialized Obsession) is about as unbelievably unimpressive as was my last visit to The Eagle leather bar in Chelsea; once you’ve seen one guy open his mouth for you to piss in it, you’ve seen them all.
I cater. That’s how I’m able to hold fort amidst a lifestyle that never decided to welcome anyone who sauntered into it with their flannel ponchos and Doc Marten’s.
One particular event last week had me on 1WTC’s sky deck; which is shoved into the vacant space that is the 65th floor. It offers breathtaking views of all five boroughs, the Statue of Liberty, and Battery Park City; the neighborhood built on top of a landfill.
After passing through a security check that involved three security dogs sniffing through a rental truck stuffed with boxes of semi-expired kale and pre-cooked patties ready to be over-salted and pampered in a sandwich of crusted-over mini burger buns, my homosexual comrades and I, clad in black on black on black, pushed and lugged proofers through an underground labyrinth towards the service elevators. The building is of course, under about as much construction as it is under scrutinization; so carting some eighty boxes of IPAs past construction workers who carried heavier balls that most of the men I’ve hooked up with (Note: Most of these men have felt the need to depend on whisky neats, beard straps, not too-tight Levi’s denim, and sex swings to prove their masculinity. In other situations, they compensated their insecurities by keeping their shirts on while they recited dirty talk they undoubtedly practiced in front of their mirror with their toothbrushes underneath their tongues) ended up being about as irritating as it was exciting (to my penis. White men talking like they have Budweiser pumping through their veins is the epitome of day-age sensuality).
Shoving all the supplies into the supersonic elevators; we rocketed up to the sixty-fifth floor in a matter of seconds. My own elevator takes about two minutes to lift me up to the fourth floor.
We trampled out of the elevator in particular fashion, as if we’d just had a gang-bang in The Cock’s semen-and-probably-shit-crusted bathroom and 4:05 A.M. had just hit so we had to run out and pretend to be upstanding denizens of Manhattan. We brought the proofers and crates and boxes of plonk and set up kitchen.
Here’s the thing about catering; if you don’t pretend to do anything, chances are you’ll have nothing to really do up until it’s time to serve out. In an effort to reserve my acting skills for the next man who felt the need to tell me that my ass was like Bisquik and had to be kneaded like a donut hole, I snuck away from all the others setting up the kitchen and snagged a couple pictures of the view out the windows.
They were no less than phenomenal, but that’s the city. Not 1WTC.
Walking into the space we were going to be serving food in; club music transplanted from Club Space in Miami shook the floor. Giant television screens displayed graphics of 1WTC’s logo. Info-graphs and prices of available space were splattered all over place; like we were at a boat show, or center stage of Naomi Klien’s ‘Goddess’.
The event was for perspective real estate brokers; who were invited incognito to be fed and quenched and edged in their Club Monaco suits.
The entire night while serving semi-hot pigs in a blanket and semi-overly-salted mushroom puffs, these folks felt keen on leaving their napkins on the ground, becoming drunker and splashing their beverages on the floor, wearing tuxedos as if their wives at home were actually satisfied with their gizzard necks. Not a one of them looked at myself or the price tags for the available space in the building. Perhaps they were already aware of the rats occupying Vogue’s new offices. Perhaps they were already aware of the rat occupying the basement of my Bushwick apartment. Perhaps they were aware that they were, in fact, celebrating the monopolization of New York City’s holiest ground.
The event ended in particular fashion when I was let out early. My captains asked me if I wanted some of the leftover conch salad we’d been passing out hours before. I humbly passed on the offer and changed into clothes that made me feel like a man who had student loans he was actually able to pay off.
Before getting onto the elevator though, I realized that there was a room that I hadn’t seen. It was the eastern bit of the floor; entirely without carpet, paint, or the nauseating flare of forty-five LED lights that were very tastefully positioned in the main reception hall.
What it did have, however, aside from a blissful, sweeping view of all of Brooklyn and all of its bridges, was this:
No less the same way developers insisted on developing an conductive pencil sharpener in the shadows of one of the most heartbreaking sites in American history, so will this wall be covered in paint for the corporate offices of Baby Gap.
I shudder in horror. I quake at the fact that just fifty feet over, past a single door, hundreds of drunken real estate brokers are waiting to sell this space in the name of filling in a building that feels satisfied enough proclaiming itself as a memorial.
They should leave it empty. They should keep the writing on the wall continue to be written. No less, the men who built this tower; the ones who left the markings on the walls – this building means something more to them than the fountains 700 feet below mean to the tourists taking pictures in front of them do.
But sooner rather than later, the workers will leave. And so will their writings on the walls. They’ll be forgotten, just like the brokers who undoubtedly forgot about what happened that night on the 65th floor of 1WTC because they couldn’t stop guzzling down their Sierra Nevada.