Monday, September 11, 2006

Five years ago

A small memory of September 11, 2001. Below is a copy of an e-mail I was able to send when my phone service briefly came back on (the days of dial-up!) I had been traveling to school when the planes struck the World Trade Center; I came up out of the subway to see an enormous cloud of dust. They had fallen.

I sent this to my family and friends in the quick moment that I had:

Here's the latest -- my phone has been dead for most of the day but I managed to get online quickly and am leaving messages and sending emails while I have service.

As you know I don't live anywhere near the WTC -- our building at NYU (where I was) is closer -- you can see the towers -- it now looks like a volcano erupted, you can taste the dust. I was most worried about my friend Kent who works in 7 World Trade and is often at World Trade One in about the spot where the first plane went in. Cell service has been down, I finally got ahold of him at around 5 pm, and by some amazing blessing he had other business to attend to this morning and was not in the office.

I walked home from school, about six miles -- subways and trains were essentially shut down, the streets are mostly empty, there are National Guardsmen around. It is surreal, but people are reacting well -- there are overflow lines at all the hospitals to give blood.

Thanks for thinking about me -- this is an incomprehensible day.

I knew how long the walk was because, by some odd coincidence, that day was the first day I was wearing a pedometer my mother had given me.

I went in a daze to vote in the primary election that had been scheduled for that day, but by then it had been called off. Nothing had really sunk in.

For the next few nights, on the Upper West Side where I lived, the wind carried the smell of an electrical fire -- like burning rubber. We walked in mourning, catching each others' eyes on the street. What had happened to the world?


Blogger Crash said...

I remember the smell most of all. I had a crazy roommate who didn't believe in shutting windows (toxins build up if you do).

8:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That day turned out silently eerie here too. We were unable to find out the particulars of what was confronting our families. No option but to wait it out. b

9:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was living across the street from Sony Studios in Culver City, CA. I guess al Quaeda had made specific threats against the film industry becuase the studio was shut down tight with armed guards around it. It looked like a military installation. The always-busy streets of Los Angeles were deserted and it was quiet. Very eerie. It's never been that quiet here before or since...

-Jason Rohrblogger

6:42 PM  

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