Sep 11, 2002
On a day of mourning and rememberance of those lost in the attacks one year ago today, I am on edge. The last few days I have had moments of deep, aching sorrow and also moments of panic and fear. I nearly broke down at the Starbucks counter yesterday just because they were giving away free red, white & blue ribbons. My throat clenched, my pulse raced and I couldn’t breath. I just had to get out of there. Fast. I just want today to be uneventful and for nothing unexpected to happen.
So needless to say my brush with death that came just a few minutes ago was NOT welcome. I’m walking back to my office from getting a bagel at Scott’s. The path takes me by the Today Show taping where I walked alongside the building which houses Dean & Deluca. That’s when I hear a bunch of shouting, “Hey, hey, hey woah!!!” Then BAM! A huge chunk of bent metal lands about two feet from me and four other people. They all stopped and looked up to the sky to see from where this metal originated. Not me. I don’t think I’ve ever moved that fast except for the one time when my friend almost stepped on the head of a rattlesnake and I ran to get help as she stood frozen in her tracks. I darted out of there like a supersonic car! Once I crossed the street, I gazed up at the building which looked the same as it ever did. No construction workers or window washers to be seen. It’s very windy today, so I’m assuming the metal came from the rooftop. I don’t know. I’m taking it as a sign to count my blessings.
At noon my office observed two minutes of silence. Just like the falling metal, BAM, it was there–the raw emotion. In the silence, I wept and hoped that somehow we’ll rise above the hatred and find ourselves on the other side where peace does reign. Honestly, I don’t know what I can do to truly honor those lost and the sacrifices their families have unwittingly made. Two minutes of silence certainly doesn’t seem enough, it did, however, make me put the victims and their families in the forefront of my thoughts. It was then that I realized I have not dealt with the very real emotions I have from that day. I didn’t want to have an “oh woe is me” attitude because no one close to me was killed or seriously injured, I don’t live with the horror of having been in the Towers, and I made it home safely that day. The attention belongs to those who didn’t make it home, their families and the survivors. So, I have been purposely pushing the events further and further out of my mind, intentionally avoiding news reports and images in order to evade the feelings. At what point will I face them? I don’t know that I ever truly will.
Shopping list: Kleenex for desk. A single napkin from Emerald Planet does not make good tissue paper.
Lunch time I wandered around with no appetite. I got to the doors of the “Faces of Ground Zero” free exhibit that has transformed Rockefeller Center into an outdoor museum. I couldn’t bring myself to go inside. It will be here until the 23rd, so I think I will go next week. Instead, I sat in my usual spot facing 5th Avenue and watched a caravan of police cars and secret service vehicles zoom past. Too early to be President Bush, so I’m curious as to who it was deserving of such protection. Bloomberg?
My boss came back from lunch with news that debris from the AOL Time Warner Building blew into the Trump Tower and hit and seriously injured someone. So this wind is fierce today. After work, the four of us (me, Mitch, Rich & Jeff) will trek to the Peninsula Hotel where one year ago today we all walked together in hopes of I don’t know what. The Peninsula was closed that afternoon, of course, so we parted and took our separate ways home. It took me around 3 or 4 hours for such a short walk in a black suit and high heels. I’ll never forget the lonely vulnerable feeling I had, planes flying above, knowing that I would have no where to run if a plane were to hit the bridge I was crossing so slowly. Today, I brought a change of shoes in case I have to walk home again. I hope I don’t need them.