Thursday, September 11
Abnormal Characters (Quotesheet), end of day, Thursday, September 11.
Abnormal Characters, end of day (more or less), Thursday, September 11.
In the early afternoon of September 11, 2001, I drove home down a very empty New Jersey Turnpike. My classmate Rong and
I were travelling together. We had heard that the Towers had been struck and collapsed, but didn't believe it... we hadn't seen or listened to any news
that morning, I don't know why.
When we saw with our own eyes that the Towers weren't there, I don't know what we felt. It was all a little
unreal of course. I just remember thinking, 'Huh, that guy in the deli was right.' I certainly couldn't wrap my mind around what
it meant in any big sense.
(Rong was more worried than me since her husband works on Wall Street, but she stayed calm (he was fine, thankfully). I knew that LLP was safe in Princeton.)
It was a perfectly clear day and there were columns of smoke rising into a gorgeous blue sky where the Towers once stood... the smoke trailed
miles and miles down the coast. We were
travelling south... the Turnpike had been closed northbound above exit 11, I believe, but it was wide open going south.
We were practically the only southbound car
the entire 45-minute trip back to exit 8A. I remember being impressed by the number of semis headed north with heavy equipment and
klieg lights... and of course the ambulances, dozens of ambulances, traveling with their emergency lights off. We didn't listen to the radio, or even talk much. I think we were
just a little anxious to get home.
One night a month or so before the attacks I was visiting my friend Henry in Jersey City.
I can't recall what the exit is, but when turning off the Turnpike I had
a perfectly clear view of the Towers lit up bright in all their glory. On that lovely late-summer night I remember being struck by how
stunning, how dramatically beautiful the Towers were... it makes
me cry to think about that moment now.
I just realized how TEFL training is going change things. While listening to Merle Haggard sing "Are the Good Times Really Over for Good?"
I shuddered when he sang "Wish a Ford and a Chevy could still last ten years, like they should." Now Merle, you should
say "as" they should, not "like!"
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