EDITORIAL NOTE: Features articles are the opinions of their authors and do not reflect the opinions of the staff and management of Ink 19.
In the city of the dead
“… In the city of York there will be a great collapse. 2 twin brothers torn apart by chaos, while the fortress fall, the great leader will succumb, the third big war will begin when the big city is burning.”
I wanted to thank everyone for their emails and prayers. I am told it is impossible to call NY from outside the city. I can sometimes call across the street and other times cannot access my own voicemail number. For some odd reason, my dial up connection has been pretty reliable.
My TV was on for 12 hours yesterday and even when my houseguest (a friend from work who stayed with me because she was unable to get home to Brooklyn) and I could barely hold our eyes open from exhaustion and mental duress, it was hard to turn it off, as new horrors unfolded hourly. It was impossible to look away from what was and still is happening just a mile or so from where I live.
I went into my office today out of my absurd sense of responsibility, though about half an hour later than usual. Out of 60 or so employees, there were 6 or 7 people there. After realizing we had no phones, no computer network, no email or Internet, I left. There was nothing for me to do there. So many of our clients were in the World Financial Center. Clients I have known of the eight plus years I have been at that firm. It seems so apparent that once names of the victims are known, we will all know someone who is now dead. It is incomprehensible.
One of the women in the office today is a lady named Mary. When Mary was a teenager, she sang with that girl group, the Shangri-La’s. “Leader of the Pack,” that is Mary singing that song. Now Mary is a project manager for us and she was going to a meeting at the Towers yesterday when she saw the first plane hit from the street. She told me about looking into the huge hole in the building, watching fireballs shoot out, and being able to see how many of the structural support beams were gone. “That’s when I knew it was time to start to walk away,” she said. While she was walking uptown, a panic broke out as the tower started to collapse in on itself. Mary said she had to hold on to a light pole to keep from being trampled. Her eyes began to well up as she spoke. We wonder how many people did not get out of the building in time, or were crushed by falling debris. It is too horrible to think about.
My close friend Linda works at the AMEX (Stock exchange) just two blocks from the towers, and was one of the people who was unfortunate enough to witness the tower come down, and had to run from the cloud of debris. She is uninjured, but traumatized. I am so grateful she is OK.
There are State Troopers all up and down 14th Street where I live. No traffic is being allowed south of 14th, which means I walked past endless barricades as I traveled to and from the office today. The street is nearly silent, and when you do overhear the hushed conversations of those on the street, no one seems to be able to speak of anything else than this tragedy. It has consumed us all. It has stopped time.
“You could hear a pin drop out here,” I heard one woman on Fifth Avenue say into her cell phone.
Oddly enough, with coverage on every channel, the best news is coming from England, on the BBC. I suggest everyone who has access to that channel on their cable or satellite tune it in for coverage that you will not hear even from ground zero here in NYC.
Anyway, I just wanted to contact so many people and thought this was the best way to do it. I hope everyone is taking care of their own and saying prayers for peace and for the victims of this horror.