ten years ago today, i drove my partner to the local airport and waved goodbye as she flew off to NYC for a conference. i went off to work, without her itinerary. a couple hours later, i followed a group of people walking quickly into a conference room with a wall size t.v. and watched the horror unfold. remember how long it was before we knew anything?? well,i didn't know my partner's flight numbers, arrival time, nothing. i left work shortly afterwards, and my best friend met me at my house for an impossible vigil. where was K? she could have been anywhere, now that all the planes were grounded - but what if there were still rogue planes?
in addition to the lost-loved-one trauma, i was stunned as only a native new yorker can be to see such destruction writ large on my much-beloved city. i have a treasured memory of being with friends in 1976 sitting on the World Trade Center Plaza watching the tall ships come into the harbor, the bicentennial celebration.
it wasn't until about 6 p.m. that K called - her plane had been grounded in atlanta, a city she was forced to stay in for three long days, until transportation could be arranged. she described massive confusion in the atlanta airport. it was before everyone had cell phones, and the lines for public phones took hours. eventually, volunteers moved up and down the lines with cell phones for people to use.
we connected. we connected.