So much has happened in the last 10 years. It is crazy when you can look back at your life and remember what you were doing on a specific day 10 years ago.
I was living with my grandmother mother back then and I was sleeping as usual; I worked a 3-12 shift. My grandmother woke me up and told me that a plan crashed into the world trade center. I thought she was just talking crazy or something. I was still laying there trying to get some sleep before work. I am not sure what made me get up and turn the T.V. on, but I did.
I really didn’t know what I was watching. All the channels were showing the same thing. I know that looked like the World Trade Center, but why was it on fire? Was my grandmother really telling the truth? I was glued to the T.V. like it was a movie. The minute I saw that other plane crash into the other building, I just said “OH.MY.GOD!” I couldn’t believe it!
I used to go to BMCC, which was in walking distance from the towers. I had graduated about a year earlier. I used to go to the towers for lunch and shopping during my breaks all the time. It was the closest little shopping area to my school. They had quite a few stores in that building. I remember just getting on the train right in the building and not having to go outside. That shit was just too real.
I watched and watched some more, I saw the whole building just fall. I felt numb! I just couldn’t get over the amount of people who possibly died. I just couldn’t understand what was going on. I felt so sad. When that other tower fell, that was it. It was over, all over. I knew thousands of people died. When I looked at the top of the 1st building, I kept thinking of all the people trapped on top of that plane. They were not getting out. No way, no how.
That was a sad day. I still don’t think people understood what just happened to our country. What just happened to New York. What just happened to the world. I mean, I got it, but I didn’t really get it yet.
I remember my cell phone didn’t work. So many people lost service.
For some odd reason, I thought that must have only effected Manhattan. I chose to get into my car and drive to work on Long Island. That couldn’t have possibly affected Long Island, right? Wrong! I had the smoothest ride ever. I may have even been the only dick-head driving somewhere. When I got to work (Citibank) the parking lot was empty. I was the only person there. I was like damn, this shit is serious. I drove my dumb-ass back to Brooklyn. What would make me think any division of Citibank would be open? I didn’t work in an actual branch, it was an office building.
That was the longest ride of my life. It normally takes me 45 minutes to get home from work. Well, it took me 8 hours on 9/11. It was crazy. Everyone was trying to go somewhere. I tried to drive through Queens locally and that was no better. I had no cell. I didn’t really know what was going on. I had the radio but that shit was scaring me. When I got home, I told my grandmother about my day and she asked me why did I go to work. Before I felt the house she asked me the same thing. I have learned to listen to my elders a lot more since then.
My sisters and my ex had to walk home from Manhattan. Walk! They had to walk to Flatbush. We all met up at my house to tell each other about our day. When I went outside, there was debris in front of my door. There was smoke too. I just kept thinking how serious Manhattan must have looked, if we had debris in Brooklyn. I did not go to Manhattan for a very long time, maybe a year after. I had no interest. I worked on Long Island and was going to College out there too. I had NO reason to get on a train. I did not take the train for years. Other than the fact that I drove, I was scared. When I did drive to Manhattan, I never drove by or near ground zero. There were always other ways to travel.
When I did finally see ground zero years later it was just a big empty looking pit. Huge and empty. Nothing was there at all. I could not handle being there on that dreaded day or anytime earlier. I didn’t want to see bodies, or personal belongings. The images on T.V. were enough to last a lifetime.
I know people who went to help clean up and I know someone who died that day. My oldest friend lost her cousin. It wasn’t nice. He left behind children and his daughter took it hard. I believe he was a janitor in the World Trade Center.