Long before 9/11, Miles used to lie in bed at night in his apartment on Manhattan's Upper West Side -- just across the park from where Cynthia, Steve and Melissa would be living in his novel Loss of Reason -- and listen to the sirens. Wondering when someone would drop The Big One on the city . . . wondering how the millions of survivors -- if there would be any -- could possibly escape . . . while the city government began encouraging twenty-four hour personal survival kits -- food, medicines, other critical essential personal items. See: Preparing for emergencies in New York City.
When Miles would leave the city for a day or so, he'd return with a growing sense of dread -- driving toward that awesome skyline on the I-95 he'd look at the skyscrapers and wonder, "Is today the day?"
But he stuck with the city; it was his home. To excise the paranoia he spent his spare time writing the beginning of Loss Of Reason . . . until the night some homeless person stabbed a ballerina to death on the block behind his apartment. It was a small solitary death in the scope of the hundreds murdered in the city every year but he took it as a sign. He never knew her, but the attack felt close and personal. It was time to get out.
He moved west, out to the Rockies and the desert where he no longer felt trapped by the masses, where he could see the horizon simply by walking outside, where the sky was open and the air was clear. It took six months for the paranoia to slowly leave him.
It didn't seem like paranoia when, like all Americans, he watched the attack on television that terrible day, with a horror that would have been sheer terror had he stayed -- as the Twin Towers came rumbling down -- hot as a pinnacle of terrorism in the city, but perhaps as the beginning of things much worse to come.
Miles A. Maxwell -- out of Cheyenne, Wyoming -- is the author of Loss Of Reason, Search For Reason, Drone (Prequel) and Finding Reason in the State Of Reason mystery series, and the Naomi Soul mystery-thrillers Die By The Pen and Vibrate.
Broadington is in the business of preserving and enhancing humanlife through art and science.
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