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9/11/01

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post #68
bio: raquel
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9/11/2003
11:12

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The Medium Pimp didn't exist on 9/11 so this is just as I remember it.

Two years ago I was temping day to day pretty much all over Manhattan. And that morning I was lying in bed in my apartment a block from the Promenade in Brooklyn directly across the water from downtown Manhattan dreading my next temp assignment. I don't know what I feared more: the potential of not having work at all, or the chance of having to copy TPS reports all day for some asshole. Of course, little did I know that the word 'dread' would have a whole new definition once this day was done with.

8:30 AM - I called in to my temp agency, The Laury Group (formerly Laury's Girls) to see if there was any work. There was. Ugh. I was assigned to Generic Corporate Dress Financial Workplace in Midtown. So I dressed in my finest dry clean only and left my apartment lying to the agency about how long it would take to get there.

8:46 AM - I am in the elevator - I hear nothing.

8:49 AM - I walk outside. It's unbelievably beautiful out. The sky is 'The Simpsons' intro blue - it 's almost fake. I look down the block at the Promenade and there is this strange little dust cloud with papers coming out of it suspended in mid air.

That's strange. I thought. Then I remembered the primaries were that day so I chalked it up to a publicity stunt gone awry. Strange what creative rationalizations the mind can manufacture!

I walk up the street towards the subway. People are smiling huge smiles - the weather - it couldn't possibly be better in this best of all possible intimidatingly upscale neighborhood! Neighbors waving, birds singing, people running towards the Promenade. People running towards the Promenade. Now, what the heck is up with that?

9:07 AM - On the N train. It's not stopping downtown. It stops. A grungy bike messenger with a huge mass of dreadlocks tied at the nape of his neck gets on and bears the news. We all think the same thing:

He must be crazy.

9:10 AM - The train stops again and the news is confirmed by 3 more people. Of course it won't really sink in for another week or so, but my mind has grasped that something very bad is happening.

9:27 AM - At the Office of Generic Corporate Dress Financial Workplace in Midtown. I am a completely unknown temp in the midst of pandemonium. I have no desk. No contact. No phone. No computer. No means to contact the outside world. I sit with a nice receptionist who is reassuring. Then she disappears. I follow the crowd into a conference room and watch the horror unfold with a bunch of strangers. For a second they look at me like, who the fuck are you? I return the glares. Then we are all transfixed by the indelible images on the tv.

10:41 AM - I am in front of a computer I can't log on to. People are leaving the office but some dumb-ass doesn't want us to go. I don't even know who I am working for still - the streets are starting to fill with people leaving their offices. I call Canada - my boyfriends father tells me thousands of people have died this morning and I am shocked. Despite watching the reality on TV already over and over. I am still shocked. I call Mister Happyrobot. He emails my father in DC to say I am ok.

11:10 AM - I leave for a friends house in midtown. On the way I stop and buy a huge lunch. Huge. Like it's the last lunch i will ever eat. People are buying everything. But mostly beer. Coronas like Mexico might be next.

12:02 PM till forever - Sitting in front of the TV with Ben vassilating between feelings of nausea, anger, numbness and yes, a whole new take on dread. Dread with a capital "D".

[The rest of the story isn't much except to say I am still sorry for the young boy I had a crush on in my midweek Hebrew carpool who lost his life that day. Aaron Jacobs. In my mind he will always be 10 years old, treble voiced and hilarious.]


Email from my father:
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2001 15:42:00 EDT
Subject: lucky girl & life's new perspectives

CAN'T TELL YOU HOW GRATEFUL WE ARE YOU HAD BEN CALL US AND THEN CALLED US.
APPARENTLY MORE ATTACKS WERE EXPECTED.
APPARENTLY EDDY'S (my cousin) GIRLFRIEND'S SISTER WAS IN A CONFERENCE AT THE WORLD CENTER
AND WHEN SHE CAME OUT AFTER THE FIRST EXPLOSION SHE SAW THE SECOND PLANE
PLOWING INTO THE TOWER.
HOPE YOU CAN BE WITH FRIENDS TONIGHT.
IN THE END THE ONLY IMPORTANT THING IS LIFE AND THE FAMILY.
LOVE
DAD








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