just down the block

Date Submitted: 06/13/2002
Author Info: Karena (New York, NY - USA) 
Occupation: Professional (Medical, legal, etc.)
Lived in NY on 9.11.01?: Yes
Knew someone who perished?: No

I was actually having sex with my girlfriend that morning, thinking I was going to be very late for work. We both heard this loud sound humming past but hey, this is NYC, so on with the sex. I live on in the West Village, just next to the Hudson River and just up the street from the WTC. Finally I thought I was really running late and got dressed when the phone rang. It was a friend telling me that 2 planes hit the WTC, I had missed them both, and I should not ride the A train to work as it goes right under the WTC. I just brushed it off and said I had to go because I thought it was some accident, maybe they hit each other and then ran into the towers. But I called work as it seemed a good excuse for my tardiness, and told my boss I wasn’t sure I should get on the train. He just wanted to know how many cases I had on in court that morning. I’m a public defender and that could mean a lot of work to cover for me. So he told me to wait a little and see if the trains were running and come in. Sheesh, bosses, huh? So I looked out the window and saw a crowd of people, mouths agape, and then screaming. I ran up to the roof and saw the big pile of smoke, grabbed my camera, as one is wont to do, and started snapping from the perfect view from my roof. All I could think was, how many thousands of people are gone and how strange this will be with one tower. When the second one fell, well, you know what that felt like. Numb. Just disbelief. My main office is next door on Church St. but I figured they all got out in time. Our office is still closed, windows blown out and airplane part recovery took forever. And its contaminated, along with all our files and every personal belonging in the building. Several friends were inside, on the PATH platform, running out with debris falling. And one friend has since moved to Australia after seeing the plane’s landing gear just over her head and the whole thing. She freaked and left. The rest of us spent the next week in the frozen zone drinking ourselves into oblivion. No work, no cars in the neighborhood, eyelashes fluttering constantly with debris for days, but the alcohol poured (bars never close in NY)and Christiane Amanpour kept us sane. As for patriotism? Well, we didn’t feel it here downtown, friends. It was ugly and we didn’t care for anymore of that to be honest. War just seemed like a crappy solution. We were living in a war zone, enough is enough. I still walk out my door, look down the street and say to myself, I can’t believe they’re gone.


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