Friday, September 12, 2008

One minute to midnight

That’s when my post for the Bridges 100 Words Project commemorating September 11th was posted. One minute to midnight. That where I feel I am with regard to conceiving a child with my own eggs. Will I conceive before the witching hour, when all I have are rotten eggs? When I wrote the last sentence of my post, ‘I hope it helped him feel heard.’, it hit me how that applies to sharing my thoughts here. It’s hard to feel heard about TTC in real life, where bellies and strollers are everywhere. I feel so welcomed and heard in this community. Thank you all!

Back to the 100 Words Project, if you haven’t read the wonderful posts, you must! I particularly identified with this one. The world was a different place for a while. New York was a very different place. We made eye contact … with tears in our eyes. Together, we looked up at the fighter planes overhead and shuddered. We comforted each other however we could.

So many memories from that time etched in my brain. I’ll never forget the firefighter I wrote about. The exhaustion and sorrow in his face. How many of his friends were gone. Dust and fragments. OMG, the dust. It was everywhere and it was everything. I mean EVERYTHING. You know, people. Every time I looked at the dust on my shoes or clothes, or on the tissue I blew my nose with, I thought of all the people, reduced to dust. At one of the respite centers run by the Red Cross (at a St Johns University building) we had to hose off our shoes before entering. Still, enough was tracked in and ground into the terra cotta tiled main floor, that I was told they had to replace all the tile. I remember the nights in the beginning, when they had a dinner cruise ship docked nearby for the workers to take breaks to rest and eat. The galley was manned by chefs from local restaurants, volunteering their time. Chefs are known for their egos. They are not generally thought of as a cooperative bunch, but when I walked through the galley at 5:30am, they were all slicing up bagels. Something they would never do in their own restaurants.

There were those who wanted to talk about what they were experiencing, and those who just wanted a distraction for a little while. We got a good Scrabble game going one night. There were computers donated to distract the workers on break. I remember the female police officer I helped search ebay for wedding dresses. The other volunteers from NY and other parts of the country. I remember one woman telling me she was sorry about what happened to my city.

Then there was J. My boy. Yup, I fell in love at Ground Zero. With a Catholic, Republican, National Guardsman from Buffalo, 10 years my junior. He fell for a smart mouthed, Jewish, liberal Democrat, older, New Yawker. We weren’t meant to be long term, but we loved each other with full hearts. If I close my eyes I can almost feel the texture of his uniform against my cheek. So surreal for this liberal pacifist with civil disobedience training. (Never had to use those skills, but I know how to safely go limp during a protest. You go limp so you can’t be accused of resisting arrest.) We haven’t been in touch in nearly 4 years, but of course I always think of him this time of year. I wonder if these last years of W’s administration have changed his political thinking. The way this administration has treated our soldiers is such a disgrace. Military contractors are being paid extremely well, while families of our troops are on food stamps to survive. Soooooo wrong!

Don’t really have a cohesive point to these memories, rants and ramblings, but here they are.

1 comment:

I Believe in Miracles said...

I like the rambling thoughts!! They show us more of you.