Thursday, September 11, 2008


My son was sick this morning and had been all of yesterday, so we decided to take him to see the doctor to make sure everything was OK. The doctor was mainly concerned about keeping him hydrated, so we picked up some ice pops and by the time I left for work he was looking like his usual self and my wife reports that he is happily dancing around watching for Baloo from The Jungle Book.

The result of this is that I didn't make it into the office until well past 1PM today, which triggered a realization: I have not missed work on September 11th for 7 years and, in fact, the thought of not getting to work today felt... wrong. It's almost like my brain, mindful of the day, replays the most emotional part of of that day 7 years ago for me, the urgency to get to work.

I knew that a plane had hit one of the towers, but I had no idea the scale. One friend, Dave, called and said it was a small plane, so I was thinking a prop. Another friend and co-worker Matt, said that they were told to stay in their offices, but he sent our newest hire home as she was rattled by the incident with the other tower. I sat on the N train wishing it would hurry up so that I could make sure my co-workers were ok. The N started slowing down as it got closer to Manhattan, and knowing that they would likely stop the N from running under the WTC even for a prop plane hitting it, I got off at Pacific St. and ran to the 4/5 train.

When I boarded that train was when I first realized the scope of what happened. I remember being in the 5 and next to a loud lady shouting "It was 2 planes, they hit the towers, it's a terrorist attack." I remember wishing she would shut up, thinking that there was no way for her to know that, but instantly knowing that what she said was true. My anxiety to get to the office reached a fever pitch, and I exited the train at the first stop in Manhattan. Running up Broadway I realized as soon as I saw the towers I wasn't going to be able to get close to them, but I pushed forward to find some sort of evacuation area where I could find my officemates and make sure they were OK.

I got a call from my boss, accounting for him and a couple of others from 68, and my friend Matt let me know via our AOL pagers (I could not call out from my Cell at all) that he and the others from out offices on 46 had gotten out safely. My anxiety, the urgency to get to the office, subsided, as I turned down Maiden Lane to start to walk to the Bridge, messaging Matt who was already halfway across it.

That's when I heard a rumble, turned around, looked up and saw my old workplace collapsing.

No more emotion.

Turn, and run.