2003-09-12 @ 1:47 p.m.
|Its funny how 9/11 is no longer a simple date but a NOUN. I reminded my shrink on Tuesday that I was the first person in his office that day two years ago to tell him what was going on. I had been watching the Today show and saw the second plane crash into the WTC just minutes before I left for my appointment. I had arrived at his office fairly frazzled and flaked out, but he's used to that, so he thought I was just being my usual Drama Queen self and kind of shrugged off my suggestion that things were going badly elsewhere. I remember his exact words. He took my shoulders, looked into my teary eyes and said, "Don't worry, honey, nothing'll happen in *******, we're safe". And then he told me not to watch television when I got home.
What I did do when I got home was call my best friend in Manhattan. This was before I ever visited him, so I didn't know where he lived in relation to the WTC. It took a long time to get through, but when I finally did, his voice was anxious and excited. I could tell he was pacing around his apartment. His apartment fortunately, was at the other end of Manhattan, but that did not prevent him from seeing jets patrolling the river (I guess he lives on the East River? Sorry I'm not up on Manhattan geography), traffic was gridlocked, army troops with machine guns were walking the streets, even in Tony Uptown and he could smell smoke.
His boyfriend had been at his shrink down near the WTC when it happened and had seen the clouds of dirt, and office papers swirling down the street just after it happened. Can't imagine what that looked like in person. Have seen videos of it and still get choked up by the images. At the time he was doing a show in New Jersey. He said for a week or so, he had to pass by the site and it smoked for quite a while. I was glad he was ok, but fearful, there would be something more.
But my closest brush with the whole event was actually through the Married Guy. At the time we were putting out a little political newspaper together. He had 2-3 relatives working in the WTC when it got hit. Two of them made it out and one didn't. He lost a female cousin, who was on one of the upper floors. She survived the plane crash and made phone calls after it happened, but was lost when the building collapsed. I remembered being scared to call him the day it happened to ask him if he knew anybody in the building. His whole family lives in the NYC area. I soon found out the bad news. And he didn't do well with it, as you might imagine. Our newspaper got postponed a week, officially, so we could get some WTC coverage and photos into it, but it was mainly so Married Guy could grieve his loss (or inevitable loss. They of course continued to look for people for up to like 10 days). It was really sad. I didn't know what I could do to comfort him. This was before we were really involved (although I cared about him already).
Sad, sad, sad.
But on to current events.
I went and helped my Mom clean out her outside storage closet and had to deal with my least favorite thing -- spiders. God, I hate those things. And they were everywhere. On the walls, inside boxes. I think I actually touched at least three of them digitally. Yecch.
Hadn't done laundry for a while, so in-between jousting with 8-legged freaks, I went down to the local Laundromat. Threw the first load in, went back to Spiderland, then came back, threw the stuff into the dryer and just as I was walking to my car, I heard a kind of metallic kA-thunk. I looked up, and right at the edge of the parking lot a car was just in the midst of jumping a curb, plowing through some bushes and hitting a large light pole at the edge of Laundromat parking lot. He hit the pole, which was probably about 25 ft. tall, head on, and then, it was like, timber (!!!!!!!) and it was falling towards me.
No, I wasn't in any immanent danger (too far away. I just wrote it like that to get you involved in the story). But the pole fell, seemingly in slow motion and then the globe on it smashed into a million pieces. Funny, it was nothing like in the movies. No screeching tires or throbbing sound tracks. Just kA-thunk, timberrrr!, smash. People just appeared out of nowhere though. About 6-8 people ran up to his car...me included. His windshield was smashed on only the passenger side. I was a little scared to look inside, hoping not to see somebody's head cracked open like a "traffic school film victim". But instead it was the dash board, which had gotten shoved up from the impact of the crash. There was an old man inside, who seemed uninjured except for some scratches on his arm. He was unable to talk though. I figured he probably was in shock or possibly had a stroke.
A woman next to me, in a Denny's waitress uniform, had been behind him and explained loudly to anyone who would listen, that she had seen happen. Also that she had been in grave danger even though she was BEHIND him and he veered off the main street and smashed into the Laundromat light pole. Guess you have to make yourself important for the accident report, especially if you're going to be late for work.
The accident was actually good for me too, in a strange way. I had been walking around depressed and anxious all morning. Very self contained in grief and anxiety, but the impact of his car, actually broke open MY casing and made me realize that there is a world out there and there are people willing to help you out when you get in trouble. Within seconds 6-8 people appeared after the crash and soon the number doubled to about 14 when the ambulance and EMTS appeared. Everyone jumped to attention when someone needed help.
And then it made me think of the World Trade Center Day (on which this actually happened). Imagine someone being in trouble times 3000+. All the exertion and heart that must have been generated that day. So whenever I want to feel sorry for myself and oh, nobody loves me, I guess I should try crashing my car into a pole (in theory, folks, in theory). Then I will know for sure I'm important when 15 people come running.
Lyrics by Lennon/McCartney. All angst copyright by awittykitty