Watching the Towers crumble I broke down like a baby, for the people still inside and for the pure emotional shock of the chaos of that morning.
I wasn’t living in my home town that day, I was 3000 miles away physically, watching it on TV in the very early morning on the West Coast. But I couldn’t wait to come home, to walk those streets. I got back there the first week of October and I went right down to Ground Zero to see what I could see, to feel what I could feel – to be with my people.
A lot of it was still cordoned off but that smell – that smell that wafted up from downtown for weeks afterward. Wow. And everywhere you went in the city it was still raw, still a fresh wound. The makeshift memorials, the desperate handbills looking for the missing stating “last seen on 9/11”. The firehouses with the pictures of the fallen taped up on the walls and fields worth of flowers being left on the sidewalks outside.
Funny, but one of the things I remember most was going to work the next day, sitting in my high rise office building and just staring zombie-like at the computer screen looking for news. Numb. Pretty useless for anything like work. Some time after noon I went to my office manager and told her that I wasn’t doing anybody any good being there, I wasn’t functional. She knew what I meant, of course. We both looked out the window from her 29th floor office and she said, “If that happens I’m not going that way, I’m going out the window.”