On 9/11, once my parents and I were all safe at home, our instincts kicked in. My mother wanted to get out of the city as soon as possible. My father thought there was nothing to worry about, and that we should stay. My mom says she wanted to leave because she couldn’t stand the smell. We’re not too far from where the towers will someday stand again. We used to be able to see them from our west-facing window.

I didn’t want to leave, and I was really upset that we did. My fear was of something happening. A second strike? I don’t know, but I didn’t want to run away, especially if something happened that effected any of my friends. It smacked of cowardice.

Before we heard that Hurricane Irene is likely to have a serious impact on NYC – before Section A had a mandatory evacuation order from The Mayor’s Office, and before the MTA announced that the trains and busses shut down on Saturday at noon – my parents had gone upstate, because they go upstate every weekend.

This morning, when asked if I wanted to go upstate, I said no. I had to go to work, because there were things to do.

I also said that I wanted to stay. I wanted to be here for this. Last night, I stocked up on everything. I reinforced a window.

I am excited to see what will happen.

The only other US city I have said I could see myself living in was Denver, and these last two days I realized that idea was nothing more than a joke. I’m never leaving. And definitely not for Hurricane Irene.

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