I spent 9/11 on my friend Chris Newmyer’s roof. He was my boss as well as my friend. When the towers were hit we went up to his roof to see what was happening. We ended up getting some beer and drinking it while watching. That seems detached and inappropriate now but at the time we had no emotion to access, nothing felt normal, so that’s what we did. For some time after that I had a period of darkness.
Meanwhile there was a girl on the 33rd floor of the north tower who was at her receptionist job. When the plane hit the tower they told her to stay where she was, that would be safest. She disagreed and walked to the stairs. She went down the stairs and out to the street. She walked away from the buildings and, like the rest of us, did her best to get on with her life.
Some years later this girl went to a birthday party. I was there too. I talked with her and we talked all night. We fell in love. We are still together. When I sing “Newmyer’s Roof” I think about how glad I am that she didn’t do what they told her to do.
“Newmyer’s Roof” isn’t about that exactly. It’s about believing there is light after darkness. It’s about having Faith in the Future.