Saturday, September 10, 2011

9/11, 10 years later

Ten years ago on 9/11 I was in my flat in San Francisco, drinking coffee and reading the Chronicle, oblivious to what was happening until my mom called to say "isn't it awful?" and I had no idea what she was talking about. Then of course I was glued to the television (with no cable back then) for it seemed like days. I'd been to New York a couple of times, but never the World Trade Center. By the time I tuned in, the first tower had already fallen. It was just surreal.

A couple of months later I did a piece of art for the Wall Street Journal about how Christmas was going to 'feel' that year. Sadly, the jpg I have of the art is now corrupted, and the original art is buried in some flat file. It was black and white, and showed some Christmasy icons (nutcracker, Santa, etc.) looking rather somber.

The horse above is an SFPD horse that was 'parked' out in front of my house one day while his rider was having a coffee or something nearby. Its the closest I have to anything sort of 'tribute-like', and even though its an SF horse and not a NY one, we'll use our imaginations. The fact that its riderless seems fitting.

I remember vividly that on the night before (the 10th) I was supposed to go to dinner with my neighbors, but they forgot, and I was annoyed with them. They apologized and said they'd had something unexpected happen, and we re-scheduled for two nights later. And I remember calling them that night to say that I didn't think it was a very good night to go out. I just couldn't imagine eating pizza and drinking wine (we were going to go to Gaspare's, out local pizza joint), it seemed wrong. We never did go.

Most of what I remember though is just being in shock, and also feeling very helpless being so far away. A lot of people felt that way. Everyone was just kind of going about their business in a sort of daze. People were buying flags like crazy, hanging them in windows, flying them from car antennae, plastering them onto anything and everything.

I didn't know anyone personally who lost their life that day. My piano tuner at the time had a friend who saw someone jump from the towers and said he wasn't right in the head anymore, that he just couldn't process it, it was too much. I can imagine how many others there are who have similar stories.

My heart goes out to all who lost their lives that day, and all those who lost someone they loved.


Katherine Thomas said...

I remember every minute of that day too. I was at school, and we didnt know what to do. We considered doing a lockdown, but didnt do it. It was so hard to teach anything, and all day long worried parents were coming in to pick up their children early. What a terrible day for our country. I'm so glad that the whole country pulled together, though, and continues to help the victims in every way we can. This was a very nice post!

Gillian said...

A perfect tribute, Paula. Thanks for sharing your own memory of that awful day. x