Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sept 11th

It's pouring outside right now, as I look out the window of my space on the 29th Floor of 48 Wall. This is the highest floor I've worked on since this date 6 years ago, when my office on the 46th floor of 2WTC ceased to exist, and though some would ask in amazement "Aren't you afraid of being trapped in a tower after 9/11?", I am not. Looking out over my city is a beautiful sight. When I used to bring visiting family to Windows on the World I would spend most of my time plastered against the glass windows, staring out towards the east, able to see New York in a way now only possible by flight. My bosses, Arthur and Steve, and I used to love watching the snow fall from the windows on 68 (where my first cube was in the Trade Center), knowing that by the time the snow reached the people on the ground it would be rain.

My wife had a film crew from Dumfries over on the weekend to interview her about her move from Scotland to NYC, and before they left they asked if she had any memories about 9/11 for a segment they were doing. She explained that she wasn't here yet, but that I had actually worked in the Trade Center, so they asked me to tell my story and filmed it. I don't reflect on that day much, I can count on my fingers the number of times I told my story of that day. It did occur to me that September 11th fell on a Tuesday this year as it did in 2001. The memories are clear in my head, but any attempt at putting my memories to words never seem to do them justice, maybe just from a lack of proper writing skill. I tried for them though, I started my story and made it about halfway before starting to swell up. The act of telling the story seemed to pull me back six years, bringing out emotions that I needed to suppress during that day so that I could think straight. I didn't tell my whole story, and I'm sure at the end it was much gibberish as I was trying to keep from openly crying. The last thing that they asked me was "Do you feel that because of that day you appreciate your family more?" I don't even recall my answer, but I can answer it properly now.

The slightest change in circumstances would have meant the death of myself and between 50,000 and 100,000 others in lower Manhattan that morning. Every day that those of us who were down there live, from my brother Matt who was on 46 when the planes hit, to my friend Ed who worked mere blocks away, is a gift. That my family exists is the greatest gift of all, and in colorful terms, that makes it Christmas every day for me.