Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11

I was sitting in an office over-looking the Thames and the Tower of London and the Lloyds Building in number 1 The Undershaft, just off St Mary Axe, across from Lime Street. I was chatting on AIM with my friend Elizabeth, in Manhattan, about the previous night and a fantastic party I attended with with our friends, Rex and Susan. Then she told me to turn on a television, that something bad had just happened.

It was the early afternoon for me.

I spent the next hour or so glued to a television set in a conference room, and when the buildings collapsed I panicked and fled from the room in tears. I ran back to my office and stood at my desk in a panic. I didn't know what to do. Who did?

The government closed all the offices in The City, and my wife and I made our way home to our flat in Chepstow Place, near Notting Hill Gate. We sat in front of the television with a friend visiting from Boston.

We watched that image over and over and over again. What else was there to watch?

I felt so alone all the way in London while most of my friends and colleagues were in New York. I felt helpless and guilty for not being in Manhattan with my friends, to help and to mourn.

I don't remember eating, I just remember the shock and the fear.

I spent time calling the families of friends around the United States, trying to get news about what was going on in New York, worrying if everyone was safe or not; but, nobody had any information except what they saw on television. We cried together long-distance.

It feels like yesterday.

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