(These are the last 410 words of the 2,079 word email I wrote from 14th Street in NYC at 11:41am on September 11, 2011. Apologies for typos; I was a little distracted.)
Around Houston, I turned around and only saw a huge
cloud. Maybe the fire was really bad and the tower
was just behind it. But then I heard someone say “The
second one collapsed.” I can’t remember if it was
even there when I left (that’s why I said “I think”
the lone tower was still there when I walked out; I
don’t know anymore). But now it was gone. A guy came
running out of this community recreation center and
said “Holy fucking shit, they’re gone?” A woman
walking by told him they had collapsed. He went
across the street, yelling, “Fuck! Holy fuck!” A few
blocks later, I heard this guy in front of my telling
his dad he was OK. I looked up and saw he was covered
in ash and dust, as were his friends.
I got to my girlfriend’s apartment building, still
trying to not think about any biological weapons. I
got in the elevator with four guys, one of whom had
been walking his dog. One man said, “A bunch of
animals.” They chatted. The man with the dog said,
“I went out and the tower was there, and now it’s
gone.” I guess somber was the best word.
I’ve been here for a little more than three hours.
I’ve been watching CNN. Giulani has been on, telling
people north of Canal St. to stay put and not panic.
They had Tom Clancy on, I guess during a down time
when they needed to talk to someone, anyone to keep
reporting. More shit has gone down in D.C. and
somewhere in Pennsylvania. I emailed friends to let
them know I was safe, and heard there was panic in
Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia. I fielded calls
from my girlfriend’s friends and family, letting them
know what the deal was. I talked to my mother. We
found out that her cousin was safe and accounted for.
I wonder about some of my friends who work for
financial companies, and I worry. Smoke is covering a
good chunk of the sky here, about 30 blocks away. The
shit has gone down, and gone down hard. I’m not sure
I can fathom what has happened or what it all means.
I’m just in a numb daze. I will go and donate blood,
and I will get the hell out of town. I want to get
away from this shit. But I don’t think I’ll ever be