[The Memorial Quilt for 9/11 - partial view]
My job at a transcription service gave me a compendium of information. I was the one who most often transcribed tapes with foreign speakers/ I had listened to a Japanese, or perhaps a Singaporean businessman, speaking about "the world trade center" in Singapore, thus learning that the one in NYC was not the only one in the world. When the owner of the company sought me out in my little cubby-office, since I was usually the first to arrive and he often second, he said, "An airplane has run into the World Trade Center." I asked "Which one, where?"
"Here. Ours," he said. A little later he came to tell me it was not an isolated accident.
Several hours later I walked three miles north, alone. The streets were nearly empty, Times Square was strangely desserted. Two tourists were staring at the lighted news strip that usually gave stock market numbers. It gave the planes' number and number of passengers. An evangelist thrust a tract at me, I gave him a fiercely cold stare and walked on through the eerie emptiness and quiet that occasionally carried a distant siren wailing its way to a hospital.
Days later, when the subway was running again, people made eye contact with strangers and began telling their stories, "I was on my way to work..." "My wife called me to say ..." Small memories -- even those with mere crumbs of memory, like mine, wanted to testify that they, too, were touched.
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