Sunday, September 11, 2011

8:46 a.m.

The first plane hit at 8:46 a.m., while I was still on my way to work.

I worked at the Bed, Bath and Beyond Buying Office in Farmingdale, New York, at the time. I got to work shortly before my 9 a.m. start time and sat down in my cube; I hadn't heard the news. One of my co-workers came in; I greeted her, but she walked right by me (unusual; she would have at least said hello), and I knew from her manner that something was very wrong.

The second plane hit at 9:03 a.m.

My co-workers and I spent the morning huddled in our boss' office, listening to the news. My boss and I didn't especially like each other, but I remember her asking if I was all right. No one in the entire Buying Office (and it was a large office) was working; many were in tears and panicking. This was understandable, since we were 30 miles away from the Twin Towers: Many of us knew people who worked in the city; many of us knew people who worked in or near the Towers.

Our boss sent everyone home; it was pointless trying to get any work done. A co-worker who lived in New Jersey couldn't go home. No one could leave Long Island; all bridges and tunnels were closed. (If you want to leave Long Island, you need to take any one of a number of bridges, unless you take one of the two ferries to Connecticut, or fly out of Islip airport.)

I remembered seeing Godzilla when it came out in 1998 and thinking, Why would anyone live in Long Island? If anything happens to New York City, no one will be able to leave. I felt this feeling of entrapment that day.

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