Tuesday, the 11th  

rm_VoodooGuru1 49M
2116 posts
9/11/2005 3:37 pm

Last Read:
6/4/2007 8:47 am

Tuesday, the 11th

The following post is not up to usual standards, captious reader. It’s declarative, narrative, and doesn’t engage at all. That’s OK, because this one isn’t for you, it’s for me. Only my therapist has heard the whole story, and I think I left some details out even then. Because of the abstract and anonymous intimacy of this forum, I can tell you, benign reader, things I would have difficulty telling my family.

Four years ago I was living in St. Petersburg and employed as an analyst in the economics department of a national health insurer. Foremost among my professional memberships was NABE (National Association of Business Economists), and my employer sent me to NABE's national conference, a three day event held in NYC.

I stayed with my best friend T in his Tribeca loft, since it was walking distance to the conference, and since I hadn’t seen him in months.

The morning of the last day of the conference was beautiful; it had rained all during the previous day, but that Tuesday was sunny, with fluffy white clouds and a crisp breeze. I remember this...such lovely weather, as I walked the few blocks, mildly hung over, sipping on a latte.

I arrived a few minutes late and tried to find an open seat. I was one of the youngest guys at this thing, I hadn’t anticipated that it would be 80% old white men. But I found a seat next to one of the only attendees close to my age, put my satchel against the wall, and walked over to the table.

About a half hour into this breakfast session, I was bored to tears by the address this fellow from Morgan Stanley was giving, but enjoying some particularly good coffee. At once the chandeliers started chiming and flickering on and off, then there was a massive impact and explosion....

Yeah, it was Sept. 11, and NABE was having their conference in WTC.

The horror I saw that day, the terror, is beyond telling, but I’ll do my best.

To be specific, most of the conference was held in the Marriot WTC, and that’s where we were when the first plane hit. For those readers (most of you I suspect) unfamiliar with the layout of the old site, the Marriot was the building that connected the two towers; if you wanted to go from one tower to the other, the quickest route was to walk through the hotel. For some reason, the site of the hotel was also where the densest grouping of bodies was.

We exited the ballroom in what could best be described as a controlled panic. No one spoke - we were silent but everyone knew something very bad had happened, and our world was no longer safe. How sure was I? My satchel was about 20 feet away, the value of it and its contents was something over US$2500.00; I looked at it, estimated it would take me five to ten seconds to retrieve it, and said, “Fuck it.”

Minutes later we were all out and in the lobby; went to exit the building through the main doors, but hotel staff blocked our path, saying “It’s just debris falling from the roof folks. Nothing to worry about, but it’s dangerous to go outside!”

When the world is about to end, why does EVERYONE with any type of authority lie to you?

Our response to the “nothing to worry about” guys was, “Well, fuck that ,” but there was all kinds of shit falling outside those doors... lots of it was on fire, most of it was big, none of it was identifiable, and some of it blew up like water balloons upon impact... so we searched for another way out.

We ran up the stairs and found the doors leading to the WTC plaza were open, but the plaza was more of a war zone than the front door. I didn’t realize what I saw until later, but there were body parts out there.

Finally, we found safe exit through the bar - I think it was called the Tall Ships Lounge? - through the bar and out to the street.

I was still with the fellow I was sitting with at this point, and we were relieved to be outside, but we were in more danger with all of hell raining down. I looked up, it seemed safe, and I grabbed him by the arm and ran across the street, dodging traffic, and trying to look out for falling debris; we made it safely. We looked up and saw the smoke, fire, and people falling; I didn’t realize until later that they were jumping.

We heard that a plane had hit the tower. OK... so it wasn’t a bomb. “Just” a plane; I knew a plane had once hit the Gorilla Building, I had even met an old man once who was a maintenance guy there when it had happened. So it was bad, but it wasn’t the end of the world, right?

But I started to have this feeling that things were much, much worse than they seemed. Something inside me was just screaming to get out of downtown right fucking now!

I grabbed my newfound friend and tried to get him to come with me but he shrugged me off and told me he wanted to stay and watch what was going on. I told him I didn’t think that was a good idea, but he insisted, so I left him.

I started walking uptown very fast in cadence to this voice in my head commanding me, “Get! Out! Get! Out!...” all the while trying to come up with a plan. The strange thing was... I was going against traffic! There were more people running toward the tower and the dying than were trying to get away.

Don’t misunderstand; I am not saying I was smarter, or wiser, nor am I saying I was more cowardly than most of the people downtown that day. I’m just saying that for whatever reason, I perceived things differently than most on that day, and it maybe saved my life; some of the dead were spectators.

So, I’m going uptown along the east side, I’m not very far, only a couple blocks, when the following takes place: in the span of 1.5 to 2 seconds, above and behind my left shoulder, I hear what sounds like twin missiles traveling at a greater velocity than anything I’d ever heard before, and they sound like they're in harmonic stereo, then a deafening, massive explosion. I felt the heat from the explosion; let me say that again... I was two or three blocks north and 50-some blocks below, and I felt the fucking heat!

I turned around and saw the explosion and fireballs, and I remember thinking that it looked just like a Hollywood explosion, and that I had always thought a real explosion wouldn’t be as dramatic as a Hollywood explosion.

At this point I started running. I hugged buildings because there was another storm of burning fuel, metal, and wreckage pouring down. I saw a big piece of blue-black metal fall on a woman about 15 meters to my left; it was clear that she died instantly.

I didn’t know this second explosion was a plane, but I was sure it was intentional. It had sounded like missiles, and that’s what I thought it was. I started to think that New York City was under attack, and I was scanning rooftops for missile launchers. Everywhere around me were dead and dying, and I was fairly certain I was going to be joining them in the next few minutes. I started wondering about nuclear blasts, and what that would be like.

Yes, I talked to the Creator, mostly on behalf of the people in the tower, and that woman. But that’s my business, not yours, and certainly not the government’s. (Why do people always have to talk about their faith and how they prayed? I know of no religion whose god commands followers to give him/her plugs.)

Continuing north, I came to where the West Side Highway opened up, and tall buildings whose shadows I could hide in became sparse. But the Hudson was just to my left behind a chain link fence, and I figured if things got really bad, I could hop the fence and swim to Jersey.

When I got to the approximate latitude of T’s place, I turned and headed east, which was not so easy, since I had to cross West Side Highway, and every emergency vehicle in New York was screaming down at about 90 miles an hour. I had, of course, been trying to reach T, GF, work, and moms on my mobile for a while, but nothing was working in NY at all; indeed, it would be 4:30 that day before I had a clear signal.

I made it across, zig-zagged a half-dozen blocks to Reade, and it was as I expected... T had left (he worked in Connecticut) and locked up... and my set of keys was in my bag in WTC.

These were my first minutes of calm in nearly an hour, so I sat on his stoop and thought about what I should do.

To be continued.

Fox4aKnight1 43F

9/11/2005 11:09 pm

Voodoo I am not suprised it is draining hun........sounds like this might be the first time you are telling this in a public forum of some kind. HUGSSSSSSSSSS and I hope ya will be alright.


rm_DaphneR 58F
7938 posts
9/11/2005 11:11 pm

Oh baby, hugs to you.

Have tongue, will use it. Repeatedly.

PrincessKarma 43F
6188 posts
9/11/2005 11:17 pm

*HUGS Voodoo*

The Big Bang was the mother of all orgasms.PrincessKarma

rm_sweetkycpl05 48M/46F
13 posts
9/12/2005 10:42 am

I cannot even begin to imagine what you must have gone through on that day. I remember that day well too. I spent almost the whole day glued to the television crying my eyes out at the horrible scenes. I don't think anyone in America will ever forget that day. Very big hugs coming to you from me...

watchmesquirm 45F  
99 posts
9/12/2005 7:10 pm

You are very brave for discussing this "publicly". I do hope you continue on with the remainder of your story if you feel like you can stand to.

madkitten 53F
291 posts
9/14/2005 6:59 am

Hugs, I also think its very brave with you to go public with this, I dont think its a day any of the world will forget.

(Princess Lips)

9/15/2005 10:25 am

incredible Vodoo...


rm_VoodooGuru1 49M
2053 posts
9/16/2005 5:19 am

Thank you all very much for your kind words and thoughts.

demonicsexkitten 41F
10671 posts
9/18/2005 10:26 am


redmartinigirl 43F

10/8/2005 10:23 pm

your story is an amazing read. even though I am three thousand miles awa nyc is my town and i felt like a piece of me was destroyed that day. hard to really explain. i have a friend that was three blocks away when it happened. he can no longer go into the city...

wind to thy wings

two41and14two 55M/49F

10/26/2005 12:55 am

thank you for sharing your experience.
i can't even imagine what u must've felt.
i wish u much peace.

i am in seattle.
that morning i watched the events unfold on tv.
i watched the second tower go down at work that morning as we are three hours behind. After watching the second tower go down i made the decision to have my daughter go to school. i am glad that was the right decision. i also teach middle school. we had the tv on in the classroom. i spent the day trying to explain to the children what was happening while not really knowing myself.

Vevixen 50F
81 posts
2/12/2006 8:52 am

Although sometimes words sound futile, and a big hug would be more appropriate, I’ll attemp a few…
I often wonder why in th f… we undergo specific experiences, and have found so much injustice in the way (S?)He decides who gets the shit from hell and who gets to dance through life as lightly as a sylphid…I was never a big fan of predestination… thinking I have to, and can, affect the world around me. It took a lot of resentment and victimisation tears until…the epiphany… « But dear, it’s the silver lining… »
So now…I find myself welcoming clouds…wondering what it is that I need to learn, how I can grow... And although your storm of clouds…has given me a rainbow ( and allowed me to cross your path), this response is NOT about me, it is about YOU. I would not be as pretentious as to moralize…but I am just trying to say that the end of your tunnel might be slowed by a few cow dungs, but I’ll grab your hand and will step right in the pat with you. Thanks for sharing, thanks for making me part of the equation.

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