I wrote this as an email to a few people 10 years ago. I thought I'd post it just to have it out there more than anything. Most of the "facts" below are inaccurate. Such was the nature of news at the time. Looking back, I'm not sure why I didn't write something more personal, but here it is, an impression of a few days after 9/11/01:
I finally got a chance to answer all of those "are you OK?" letters.
Yes, I'm OK. I wasn't at home. I was trapped in Brooklyn watching the two tallest clouds of dust in the world rain charred paper over the Manhattan Bridge.
My brother had a better view. He was lucky enough to be on the 91st floor of Tower 1 when the first plane hit.That's lucky because everyone between floors 83 and 90 and above 91(including the 400+ in his company between 93 and 100) is lost. He was the only that reported to work to survive his company. Pretty lucky...I can smell the smoke now. I live about 15 minutes walk away,and when the wind shifts, the smoke enters our homes. I hope it's not a new fire. The fire department in my neighborhood was lost in the collapse...A firefighter friend of mine who was promoted from the academy Sept. 11 at noon, tells me that the fire rages on underground. In fact, it would be considered the largest fire in the city this year if it weren't the smallest fire in the last two weeks…
I visited "the site" [Terms like "the site", "ground zero",and "down there" have replaced permanently "World Trade Center",and "The Twin Towers".] and stood with a crowd inthe pouring rain staring at a hole and the stripped façade of Tower 2. That pulver of cement, marble, fiberglass, and flesh that coated all who tried to escape the enormous vacuum created by the collapse was now a mud fixed on a payphone and store fronts…Everyday at the bar where I work someone has a new, worse story. A bus driver who was en route downtown when the first plane struck didn't see the plane, but an arm fell to his left, beating the rubble to the ground. He was told to "stay put" so he could help evacuate people, but when the second plane hit, he found himself staring at an airplane seat with a passenger still strapped in it. It had no head and no arms, just a seat and a body. He fled his bus and ran from the shower of fire, brimstone and body parts that before Sept. 11 was everyone's definition of hell. And blinded by the instant night, he broke his leg when he ran into the wall of a building…Things are getting back to normal now but the buildings are gone.
None of these facts is verified. (9/15/01)