Thursday, September 11, 2008

Seven Years

On the morning of September 11th 2001,  I woke up in our apartment on the Upper West Side of New York City. I was tired from traveling. Having flown cross country the day before with Hazel, who was 8 months old. 

Erik had left for work about 20 blocks away and I remember there was a Baby Einstein VHS playing when the phone rang.

"A plane just crashed into the World Trade Center." she said.

I clicked over to NBC.

It was impossible to make an outgoing call. 

We'd only moved into our apartment 11 days before. I didn't know what to do. I turned on local news radio. The announcer barked the warning that we were under attack and urging people to stock up on supplies.

I took my baby and walked across the street to the grocery store. The shelves were bare. There was no water. No diapers. I remember staring at the empty shelves and the crowded store and the panic and fear on everyones faces.

One block away a fire station stood empty, the whole crew answering the call. I remember watching the buildings burn and wondering how they would ever put that fire out.

We lived adjacent to American Red Cross headquarters. Almost instantly, the building sprung to life including a line of blood donors snaking all they way around the block. Emergency teams prepped for victims.

The Episcopal church on the corner handed out free bottles of  water and I remember seeing a business man walking down the street with his jacket on his arm, briefcase in his hand and his entire face black with soot.

Later the Red Cross used megaphones to urge people to go home. They said they would make an announcement if they needed volunteers. As hospitals, doctors and nurses stood ready to treat the injured that never came.

Friends came over. I remember Stef, Ro and Lori. We all worked in advertising. We sat together in my living room watching the news for hours barely speaking. They replayed the clips over and over and the whole time we watched, I remember there was never a single commercial interruption.


Denise said...

OmG you were there?

I remember standing in my living room 6 months pregnant and very emotional watching the news.

zellmer said...

We did come over, didn't we? I remember doing a lot of walking that day. We walked all the way to the Upper East Side to a bar called Jimmie Walkers, where all we did is the same thing we did at your house, stare at the TV, speechless.

blissfullycaffeinated said...

I know how we felt, watching it from across the country. I cannot fathom what it musty have been like living through it in NY. Infintely worse, I would imagine. Thanks for sharing.