Posted by: dinainsuburbia | September 10, 2008

My 9/11 post

Yesterday’s weather was horrible.  When I woke up this morning and saw the beautiful blue sky and felt the lack of humidity, I was relieved.  It’s the type of day that can only be described as glorious.  After summer’s oppressive heat and humidity, to get a day like today- not a cloud in the sky with a sky so blue that it almost looks like a Caribbean sea…. you are, on the most basic level, happy to be alive.

This type of joy is always too fleeting… after waking up and going through my mental check-list of everything that had to get done, I sadly realized that today was September 10th.  The weather today is eerily similar to that of September 11th seven years ago.  I can remember exactly what I wore that day:  an XOXO skirt, a black tank, Kenneth Cole strappy sandals.  Samantha, my friend and co-worker,  would have yelled at me that morning, telling me to “put my toes away because it was September”.  I’m sure I had an extra spring in my step that morning as I emerged from Grand Central Station- after all, it was a perfect hair day.  And after suffering through a long, hot, NYC summer (nothing quite like the smell of urine in the subway) I’m sure just having a cool breeze and a blue sky was enough to make me smile.

I know I sat down at my desk with a cup of coffee andturned on my computer.  I tried to call my husband, who was at that time my boyfriend.  He was home, having been laid-off from Qwest, and preparing for a trip to visit his dad in Illinois.  I had difficulty reaching him- the line was continuously busy.  After a few tries, I slammed the phone down in frustration, mumbling a few curses under my breath how he was an idiot for knocking the phone off the hook.  I pulled up the NYTimes on the internet and continued to drink my coffee.  At that point, there was bold news line that a plane flew into WTC.  A bunch of my colleagues were already collected in the middle of the selling floor talking about what was going on.  The early consensus was that some stupid idiot in a small charter plane flew into the building.  Everyone went back to their desks to  work and continue to monitor the internet for more news. 

Somewhere around that time, Samantha called from home (she was perpetually late for work).  From what I can remember, this was our conversation:

Me: “Where are you?”
Samantha: “I’m still home… we’re under attack!”

Me:  “What are you talking about, we aren’t under attack, it was just a small passenger plane.  Get in here, it will be fine.”

Samantha: “ok, see you in a few.”

Samantha showed up about 20 minutes later.  By the time she got into the office, the 2nd plane had definitely hit.  The news was spotty and contradictory… some still reporting the small plane, some reporting a jet.  There was major confusion.  And then the Pentagon was hit and we all knew we had to get out of NYC.  We didn’t know what was happening, what to do, or where to go.  No one from management (of our company) came down to tell us what to do.  Our floor manager told us all to just leave.  A few of us that lived in Queens formed a pack and made our uptown and over the 59th street bridge.  It was a four-mile walk from my office to my house.  They had already shut the subways down and the bridge was only open to outbound traffic. 

As we walked across the bridge, you could see the smoke rising from downtown and you could smell the burning.  The smell was awful- acrid.  It burned my nose as I slowly made my way across the bridge in my strappy KennethCole sandals.  We were all in shock.  The bridge was filled with walking zombies.  No one could quite believe what was happening, and most of us didn’t know what was happening.

By the time I made it home, barefoot (I had to take off those sandals once I was over the bridge), I collapsed on the couch and turned on cnn.  I’m sure I fell asleep, and hoped that this living nightmare was just a dream.  But when I awoke, it was dark- and the same, horrible images were playing over and over again on cnn. 

I know I was alone that night.  John couldn’t get to me because the bridges were closed.  Danielle, my roommate at the time, went home with Brendon to Hoboken, NJ.  My mom was on Long Island.  I’m not sure why I didn’t go home.  But I kept a vigil that night and watched TV and cried and slept and cried.

This is what I remember of 9/11.  I feel like I’m in a haze today- as just seeing the beautiful, blue sky is making me relive all the emotions of that day.  While I’m sad, I’m also so thankful.  I’ve been so blessed these past 7 years… getting married to a wonderful man, going to graduate school, having a beautiful daughter.  I pray for those that weren’t as fortunate… that were probably just as happy as I was on that beautiful day before the buildings came down.  We’ll never forget them… at least I know I won’t.

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Responses

  1. It’s that time of year, for sure. For the past six years, I’ve always dreaded it. I get sad all over again.

    I’m not very eloquent at the moment, but I did write about this a while back:

    http://scrappy42.blogspot.com/2004/09/remembering-world-trade-center.html


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