It’s a beautiful fall day, much like the obscenely beautiful day two years ago when the world turned inside out in a matter of minutes. And as in the weeks which followed 9/11, they seem to have changed the flight patterns over Brooklyn, so that planes are now coming in low enough that you can almost make out the airline logos painted on them, and the low roar as they pass overhead sets off sick-making memories of those days when every plane made you cringe and hold your breath slightly, straining to listen for that terrible sound of metal-on-metal, like a flatbed truck bouncing over a pothole somewhere in the distance — except a flatbed truck the size of New Jersey.

And when I took the dog out last night, I noticed that they’ve turned the “Towers of Light” back on.

And it all comes rushing back: what it was like to be here that day, and what it was like in the months following, waiting for the other shoe to drop — a continuing sense of unease which eventually becomes such a familiar companion, you can’t quite remember living any other way.

And we’ve recently learned what we already knew, on some level: that the fumes spewing out of the wreckage — the fumes that lingered in the air over my neighborhood in Brooklyn for weeks — were, contrary to EPA lies at the time, incredibly toxic. Which shouldn’t surprise anyone — when dealing with politicians in general and this administration in particular, cynicism is the only rational response.

And now the administration which has so cynically used the attacks of 9/11 to pursue goals the PNAC crowd had been fantasizing about for years beforehand will try to use the war on terror to maintain their grip on power for another four years. The Democrats will try to point out how ineptly the Bushies have handled these past two years — Osama bin Laden is, after all, still apparently alive and well and sending us video postcards, while we’ve committed massive resources to conquering a country whose sum and total involvement in the events of 9/11 resides entirely in the fertile imaginations of the easily misled — and those Democrats will be portrayed as hating the West, hating America, all for stating the truth, assuming they have the courage to do so.

But this country’s split pretty evenly down the ideological divide, and I think that refrain will ultimately prove self-defeating — the average American who happens to lean toward the Democratic side is going to grow tired, at a certain point, of being told that he hates his country and wants the terrorists to win.

At least, I sincerely hope so.

(Edited marginally for clarity.)