Five years never seemed so short...  

rm_VoodooGuru1 50M
2116 posts
9/10/2006 4:23 pm

Last Read:
10/26/2006 1:46 pm

Five years never seemed so short...

Long-time readers will recognize this as a reprint from a year ago; I doubt you will care about the duplication though.

Five 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... some day.

redmartinigirl 44F

9/10/2006 9:36 pm

I'm glad that you reposted and glad that you're here.
wind to they wings,

rm_VoodooGuru1 replies on 9/11/2006 10:02 am:
Thank you RMG.

rm_1hotwahine 64F
21091 posts
9/10/2006 10:08 pm

I hadn't known this until you told me about it last June. When I went to NYC and per request of my son, visited the site, I thought of you and of LiBlondeNZ and how differently the events impacted two lives.

Yeah, I'm still [blog 1hotwahine]

rm_VoodooGuru1 replies on 9/11/2006 10:10 am:
Yeah, right? She gets to go marry Frodo in Peak Oiler's Promised Land, and I get to live in Dystopia.

Thank you Wahine.

rm_AnOddGirl 58F
3469 posts
9/11/2006 3:37 am

I can only imagine the hell you lived thru. Much like the day after Katrina and the Flood here. I know people that were visiting NYC and that live there. Family across the bay in NJ, watched the whole thing unfold. I know of people months later that still were not allowed in their apts. due to the massive amount of dust and debris.
I'm glad you knew NYC well enough to get out, I think about these things these days. Where's the exit sigh, the stairs...

I use to say be careful to departing friends, now I say 'Stay Safe' because of this event.

rm_VoodooGuru1 replies on 9/11/2006 10:10 am:
The "inner sentinel". Yeah.

SensuousWoman3 56F
3106 posts
9/11/2006 9:16 am

Whoa, is right. This is my first time reading your poignant recollections of 9/11. I am blown away. I would also like to link this post from my blog.

I am without words. Thank you for sharing this piece of your life and history with me.

rm_VoodooGuru1 replies on 9/11/2006 10:11 am:
Thank you SW3, and of course you may link.

midniteryde0005 46F

9/11/2006 11:03 am

me too! me a first time reader! OMG, Wow the pure horror you must have experienced. Seeing death all around you.
they say that memories are a good thing,but in this case, i don't think that is so right!

rm_VoodooGuru1 replies on 9/13/2006 6:18 pm:
Yeah... exactly. Everyone always wants me to "Remember 9/11". If it's all the same, I'd rather not.

PrincessKarma 44F
6188 posts
9/11/2006 12:06 pm


The Big Bang was the mother of all orgasms.PrincessKarma

rm_VoodooGuru1 replies on 9/13/2006 6:19 pm:
Thank you PK. Thank you lots.

boydcounty 68M

9/11/2006 12:43 pm

All I can say is WOW!! Thanks for sharing.

I'll never forget [post 503831]
- boyd county -


rm_VoodooGuru1 replies on 9/13/2006 6:20 pm:
You're welcome.

elysianpleasure 48M

9/11/2006 2:27 pm

I am glad you are here to tell your story... a story worth telling... so we remember... for all of those who cannot.

rm_VoodooGuru1 replies on 9/13/2006 6:21 pm:
Thank you EP.

(I've always wondered... your handle have anything to do with Dante?)

MillsShipsGayly 53M

9/11/2006 4:16 pm

Voodoo - Thank you for reposting this story. I did not read it previously and it is truly remarkable.

When people say 'trust your instinct', this story is testament to that.

I cam here via the link you made in my blog post on this [post 504338] ... again thank you very much for sharing.


rm_VoodooGuru1 replies on 9/13/2006 6:24 pm:
Thank you Mike.

JuicyBBW1001 56F

9/11/2006 6:56 pm

Wow what an incredible story. (((huggs))


rm_VoodooGuru1 replies on 9/13/2006 6:27 pm:
Thank you Juicy.

woofff 42F

9/11/2006 7:00 pm

Oh my God.

rm_VoodooGuru1 replies on 9/13/2006 6:30 pm:
Mmm... I think God was a spectator that day... in the bleachers with a wool blanket and Thermos. But belief in Him certainly played a role.

Thank you.

TexasMar 44F

9/11/2006 7:17 pm

You have been in my thoughts alllllll day. I hope all is well.

Kisses hon!!!

rm_VoodooGuru1 replies on 9/13/2006 6:31 pm:

rm_magnet4u22 50F
18406 posts
9/11/2006 7:41 pm

Ditto what everyone else said. Thank you for sharing an incredible experience.


rm_VoodooGuru1 replies on 9/13/2006 6:32 pm:
You're welcome magnet.

countryheart_71 46F
8081 posts
9/11/2006 9:16 pm

I can only imagine the feelings that this story brings back for you, whether it's a repost or not. Just reading this, brings back my feelings of that day, not near as great as yours. I'm glad that you made it.


rm_VoodooGuru1 replies on 9/13/2006 6:35 pm:
Thank you CH.

sexyariesgirl 58F

9/12/2006 5:19 am

Thank you for sharing this with us....may we never forget.

Power To FOK

rm_VoodooGuru1 replies on 9/13/2006 6:36 pm:
You're welcome SAG.

RubyRedPetal 45F

9/12/2006 6:13 am

Peace and love to you babe. x

* *

rm_VoodooGuru1 replies on 9/13/2006 6:37 pm:
Thank you much RRP.

wetwet65 53F

9/12/2006 7:22 am

Just hope the world will not forget that. May the world be in peace.



rm_VoodooGuru1 replies on 9/13/2006 6:38 pm:

IAmRubytuesday 56F
3193 posts
9/12/2006 9:15 am

Spunky sent me - i'm glad he did. Words are not enough. Thank you for this, i have never, ever read a first hand account of the attack. Unbelievable. ruby. xxx

Q.2 flies in an airing cupboard. Which one's the soldier?
A.The one on the tank.

rm_VoodooGuru1 replies on 9/13/2006 6:41 pm:
Thank you for your kind words Ruby.

kyplowboy22 62M

9/12/2006 7:27 pm

It's not just the dead we remember on that day, beau. You fall right in there with hopes and prayers with the rest of them. Later


wondertwins2006 44F/39F
138 posts
9/12/2006 8:06 pm

Oh, babe.... I thought I had it bad because my folks thought I could be in one of those planes and I couldnt reach them to tell them I was safe on the ground.....

ShyWhisper2006 54F
15175 posts
9/13/2006 1:22 am

Words escape me.......Inner peace to you and all the others that live with this on a personal level...and thanks to that which helped guide you to safety to teel others your story.

digdug41 50M

9/13/2006 8:06 am

GLad you survived it man thats all I can say

roaming the cyber streets of blogland

rm_KarmoHunny 56F
888 posts
9/14/2006 1:02 am


rm_corezon 54F
3376 posts
9/15/2006 8:57 am


The thing that strikes me is how they told you guys nothing was wrong; it was just debris falling off the roof. Like...what the h. is debris doing falling off the roof? (I guess they were in shock too and didn't really know what was going on either, programmed to help prevent panic)

I am glad for you you trusted your instincts and made it out and away.

gingerkitty00 56F
1002 posts
10/26/2006 12:15 pm

Five years later and still impossible to grasp. I felt I was with you, hurrying you along to safety, you write such a vivid account. Though a painful and shocking memory I'm sure, thankyou for re telling - lest we forget. Go well. GKxx

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