Sunday, September 11, 2011

nine eleven ten

I am sure that more than one person who walked on this platform ten years or so ago died that day.

I was on a train in that morning and for some reason I was in the lead car on the railroad train facing forward so I could see the path the train was following. About ten to nine when my train got to near Jamaica Station I saw a large plume of white smoke in the distance and I thought to myself there was a large fire somewhere in Queens.

When I got to Penn I got on a very empty E train and someone told me two planes had crashed into the World Trade Center. The first stop of the E train I was on had been the World Trade Center so I am sure my fifteen minutes before train had been under the flaming towers. I assumed they were small planes and that it all had been an accident. It was not until I got into the office that I realized the acts of terrorism.

I never went to conference rooms where thee TVs showed people jumping out of buildings. I surfed the internet seeking news. I called home and spoke with Marie.

I do recall that by the next day I determined I no longer was a photographer since I did not rush out, buy a camera and document one of the most historic days of my life.

Five or six hours later I heard that they reinstated the subways and I took a very crowded E train towards Jamaica where I later boarded a crowed LIRR train home. Half the passengers were covered in white dust. Most of us looked displaced.

One thing I respect about that day is that New Yorkers, civilians, walked out with order and did not stampede out of the burning towers. We helped and did not kill each other in a panic.

We are used to crowds and to stress. We find order.

When you get on an E train heading south today the conductor still says we are going to the World Trade Center. At first it felt odd to hear that destination, now it feels normal yet sad.

I remember that Pete Sampras lost the finals of the US Open that year a few days before the attack. That nine eleven was just a beautiful fall morning.

That Halloween we did not litter or lawn with skeletons. It seemed too real.

Every time I cross the George Washington Bridge I look south and notice the towers are not there.

We do put out skeletons again in October.