September 11, 2001

I distinctly remember where I was on 9-11. My Surviving on the Streets book had just been published the day before. And I would turn 45 on the day after. I considered my Street book one of the best things I had produced. So I felt I was on top of my game back then. With new peaks yet to come.

And the Telegraph Street Calendar was a hit that year, too. It was the one with Hate Man and Hatred on the cover. It sold well. And it recaptured a bit of the zany, fun-loving spirit of the Telegraph Avenue in the early ’90s. So that was looking up, too.

Everything I touched worked. And I’d been doing daily kundalini yoga meditation for 5 years years. With no drugs or alcohol. So I was sharp as a tack, both physically and spiritually. It even seemed like I was finally resolving some of the demons that had bedeviled me all my life. And I was actually turning into the person that I had always wanted to be. So I really felt like I was on a roll. And I had every reason to believe things would just keep getting better and better.

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And my little sister, at age 42, had managed to finally have her first child. So it was a new beginning for her. So that’s what I always remember about that period of 9-ll. The birth of my sister’s baby, and the birth of my “Surviving On the Streets” book. It seemed like things were really looking up on all fronts. . .

Of course I didn’t know at the time — one rarely does know at the time — that this would in fact be my peak. And it would pretty much be all downhill from this point onward. And maybe not just for me. But for America, too.

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