Thursday, September 11, 2008

9/11: A Day I Won't Forget [part 1]

This is a journal entry I had written back in 2001, with the idea that someday, when I felt OK with returning to "that day" mentally, I would flesh it out and share it with you. Here is some of it:

Sonia had slept over her grandparent's house with Mason that night. I took the LIRR like I always do, and the ride was as uneventful as it usually was. I had gotten a 2-way message from Linda Dreeland complaining about someone not being able to access their QuickMail. Since I am usually the first one in, I told her I'd take a look at it once I got there.
I had accidentally left Sonia' Gap knapsack on the train on Friday. We were supposed to pick it up over the weekend, but the Lost and Found is closed those days.
Once I had gotten into Penn, I made a beeline for the Lost and Found. After 2 fretful days of wondering whether or not it had actually made it there or not, the guy behind the counter had me fill out a card.
Who would've thunk it? He actually READ the card, realized I wasn't talking about a Gap plastic shopping bag, but a Gap MESSENGER bag! He had it all along, and Sonia's stuff was safe inside it, and I felt relieved.
Bag in hand, I decided to take the A train instead of the C or E, because it skips 23rd street, and I was hoping maybe I’d run into Sonia on the subway, like we sometimes did on the way out of work...then I could surprise her by giving her bag back.
The A trains stopped coming; I tried to cross over to the C or E line, but my Metrocard wouldn't work. A bunch of us crossed over to the E, and of course, our Metrocards wouldn't let us in...the message on the little screen said, "Just Used" – grr!
After speaking with the token clerk,  I was finally let in through the gate. I caught the E train downtown, and it made all local stops to 14th street.
At the 14th street station, an announcement came on that we were held there by MTA supervisors, and that we’d be moving again in 5 minutes. What was supposed to be just a 5 minute wait turned into 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes... we weren't moving at all, and I still had to get to work to check on Linda’s email.
Some of us had stepped out of the subway onto the platform for some air (it was an unusually warm September day and there was no A/C in my car). A few of us had gathered around the conductor’s opened window and were asking him questions. All he knew was that there was an "incident" at the World Trade Center. He didn't know anymore. I told a black couple, "at least I have a good excuse for being late" I was thinking of how it would look while walking down Spring Street, since I always would use the Twin Towers as my orientation beacon. You usually could spot them from anywhere in Manhattan.
A black guy listening to his Walkman spoke next: "A plane hit the Twin Towers!"
We had thought it was a small plane like a Piper Cub or Cessna. I thought of the B-25 that had run into the Empire State Building in a fog. This was a clear day, however. How could you miss the biggest buildings in Manhattan?
A young guy came over next: "Two...two planes hit the Towers...they also hit the Pentagon" 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.