Monday, April 27, 2009

Tough day to be a New Yorker

Um, lets see... the Private high school with 40+ reported cases of Swine Flu is less than 3 miles from my home. Its prime tourists season here in the city and we are overrun with Senior Class Trips that are just starting to make their impact on the sidewalk. I can only try dodging people left and right in order to get to meetings w/clients and colleagues on time, all the while trying to look cool and professional in 90F temps while wearing a wool blend suit and high heals.

As I'm dashing about in Lower Manhattan, trying to talk to my son's teacher on my cellphone, I suddenly hear the roars of jet engines above me and a silhoutte of an all to familiar shadow on the sidewalk. As I look overhead I freeze. I'm unable to utter a sound, while others manage to scream. My son's teacher, who is oblivious to what's happening,continues talking and has just informed me that a classmate's of my son has just returned from vacationing in Mexico. Her words trail off as I look up at the sky and see the jet approach a tall building a few blocks away. I hold my breath, unable to move, as others run amock around me. We are all wondering how can this be happening again.

As the plane starts to climb and move away from our skyline and heads towards New Jersey, I begin to breath and look around to see others frozen in place, many are crying. A pregnant woman has slumped down onto the sidewalk clutching her womb with both hands. Some are New Yorkers, but others... the tourists, who can't fathom the possibilities, ask to no one in particular, but loud enough hoping someone will know the answer and can reassure them: "Are they supposed to fly that low?", "Is this how planes fly into NYC?", "I thought they're not supposed to fly that close anymore?" Everyone else, the New Yorkers, those of us who remember remain either silent while others wail and cry, waiting to see if the plane will turn around and come back for another with a better aim.

My anger competes with the painful memory of that painful event 8 years ago. It was the same kind of warm day. It was the same beautiful clear blue sky, which you could see for miles. Suddenly, I'm back there again.... Years erased in single moment in which the sound of jet engines flying close overhead forces me to struggle and make sense of things in a split second. Fighting back tears, I focus on evaluating the situation... am I in imminent danger? Are others? What course of action should I take first. Flashes of that day of long ago crowd my mind and vision. The unmistakable smell of jet fuel is seared in my brain signaling danger. As I come back to reality I see the jet has not returned and instead is flying towards Newark. My safety does not bring relief for there are many people in NJ that I care about and whose loss would cut deep...yet again. My phone chirps letting me know that our building, who was just buzzed by the airliner, has been evacuated and we are told to stay away. I begin the slow walk up towards midtown rather than take the subway. I figured I have better chance of survival above ground than inside or under.

[Five hours later]
Memo to the White House Staff: You are just a bunch of F*#%ing Idiots!

I just want 5 friekin minutes alone in a room, with the A$$ that made the decision. That's it, just 5 minutes and no interruption.


Harvey said...

*leaves claw hammer*

Just in case you get those 5 minutes.

Cappy said...

Looks like Johnny Knoxville is in charge at the White House.