Fear and Loathing in NYC Oh boy - peeps are getting paranoid. September 10th, usually know as 'Eric Willhelm's Birthday' is now known as "paranoid about terrorists" day. This is unnerving almost. Almost. I am getting emails and urls about what they will do and what they will blow up. I was just getting lunch with everyone's pal Reba, and the place we were at was showing CNN headlines news and the screen was all red and orange with warnings and infographics and talking white guys with stern faces. All you could hear was, "Cheney.. warnings.. red... Osama... Terrorists... Bomb... blow up.... itchy.... alerts".
I gotta buy kitty litter. Don't let me forget.
You there, with the notepad, take this down:
"get kitty litter" "get beer"
So, tomorrow morning, I will remember a year earlier, brushing my teeth. On NPR there was this viscous commentary about George Bush being a moron. I remember loving it because the woman seemed to be having real fun pointing out his short-comings. Then they interrupted the news about a plane crashing into the WTC. I turned on the TV to see some of the channels showing the live footage, and I sat down at the computer and IM'd JohnC at work and told him to look out the window of our office. He had no idea what was going on. The next message back was, "Holy Shit!"
And that exact moment, Mrs Robot was on an A-train underneath the WTC on her way to work. People rushed into the car looking freaked out. A woman sat down next to her and said, "I have to tell you what I just saw - a plane just hit the world trade center".
I sent a message to Mrs Robot's phone that she still has on there that said, "A PLANE HIT THE WTC - OH FUCK"
JohnC's wife had a best friend in the WTC that day who didn't make it. That was the closest I came to the tragedy (not very close at all).
I had worked in the WTC years earlier as a temp doing something for some company. It was on the 40th something floor I believe, and for whatever reason I had my own office. I stared out the window a lot and they gladly paid me to do that. I had an office buddy there. Her name began with an 'L' I think. Leeza? Lisa? Lena? Lulu? I assume everyone in that office made it out fine - just based on the fact that they were so low (funny, 40 stories doesn't seem low in other buildings).
I had never really been to the WTC until that job, and didn't realize how massive the underground portion was. Many articles refer to the underground mall area as it's own little city, and it was. The place was huge and maze like and I constantly got lost while on my lunch break. It was huge and had everything.
You know, terrorists always said that the WTC was some sort of symbol of America, and I am not sure I believe that. I mean, it is an engineering feat, but it was also quite a mess. Read that NYT magazine article that I mentioned in the robot filter. Cheap materials, insufficient fire retardant stuff, engineering oversights, mob involvement - I mean, it was a real *winning* project from the get-go.
But a symbol of America? Well, it does prove to the world that we can build really really tall things and fill them with office workers. But even most of the office workers there weren't doing important things - it wasn't like there was that much world commerce there. I mean for every international banking group, there were two or three creepy, 'not really sure what they do' companies.
I don't know. I am not trying to make light of the tragedy. I am sad about all the poor people who had to die AT WORK away from their loved ones in such a violent and horrifying way. But, to be honest, the loss of the actual buildings I am not crying over. (There I said it).
So, everybody, have a safe 9/11. Hug people you like.