Archives For 9/11

911

 

Kids – who needed them?

They drained your bank account and destroyed your dreams.

Every time I saw an overzealous mommy delirious over her mewling poop machine, I knew it HAD to be an act.

Taking care of ME was a full-time job. Plants died in my care.

 

I was living in New York City – the epicenter of EVERYTHING. I milked that shiz like Bernie Madoff at a Ponzi scheme party.

I hobnobbed with pseudo celebrities. Life outside the velvet rope was not worth living.

 

I was a die-hard urbanite with the a full-throttle addiction to Broadway plays, ethnic restaurants and designer shoes, supported by a bullshit corporate job. If I combined them into The Sacrosanct Trifecta – went to see a play and ate Afghani food in a pair of Jimmy Choos – I spontaneously orgasmed.

I brunched (yes, I used it as a goddamn verb) at the Odeon in Tribeca. If a family came in, I’d move my table. I’m here for a cocktail and to maybe make a little eye contact with Robert DeNiro, and I don’t need to hear your squalling rug rats. Just because you had to go fuck up YOUR life doesn’t mean I don’t get to enjoy my warm goat cheese salad.

“Excuse me, hostess? I’m pretty sure I smell shit in that kid’s diaper, or maybe it’s just my friend’s penne gorgonzola, but, either way, just move us.”

 

My boss was a psychopath; a vulgarly successful multimillionaire with a God complex and a nasty temper. Do you know what it’s like to be paid six figures for a high-powered position and have Hitler’s brother throw a stapler at your head because his bagel had SEEDS on it?

When the corporate bourgeois aesthetic has you by the throat and you find yourself addicted to Jimmy Choo shoes, you do worse things than when you were addicted to smack.

 

A Crisp Fall Tuesday Morning.

8:50 am:  I had just dodged a paperweight when my phone rang. My brother was saying something I didn’t understand.

What was he talking about? He was recovering from lung cancer; those pain meds and the pot he smoked incessantly took him on verbal joyrides.Today, he was babbling about a plane.

“I have to go. Can I call you later?”

 

9:05 am:  My boss emerges from the inner sanctum. He always watched the news while he ate the breakfast that may or may not result in an inanimate object being hurled in my direction.

I was on hold with London. If I didn’t get these curricula vitae faxed over soon, I would surely have a desk accessory lobbed at me.

He yelled for all of us to get in his office, NOW. The TV screen showed…what was that? Was that a plane jutting out the side of a building? Engulfed in beautiful brilliant red and yellow flames, blazing wildly?

Above and below these violently beautiful hues was the blackest smoke I’d ever seen.

The dark of things and people gone forever.

 

9:21 am:  Port Authority closes all bridge and tunnels. My boyfriend was in New Jersey. No way to get to him. No way to get out of the city tonight.

 

9:31 am:  President Bush does nothing to reassure us. I want to hear that this is an accident; that an alcoholic air traffic controller got blackout boozed up when he walked in on his wife fucking the pool boy.

He tells us there is an “apparent” terrorist attack on New York City. Apparent? Whew. That means nothing; that’s like the “apparent” phone number I give men in clubs.

Breathe, Samara. Apparent, apparent…

 

9:37 am:  Hijackers aboard Flight 77 crash the plane into the western facade of the Pentagon in Washington DC. There is no more uncertainty.

 

New York City is under attack by terrorists.

 

9:59 am:  The South Tower of the World Trade Center collapses.

What are we supposed to do? Do we stay? Do we leave?

The rumors fly and claw at us like the crows in the “The Birds:”

The terrorists are now targeting Times Square – WHERE WE ARE.

The company’s human resource director voice comes through the speakers, giving us instructions on how to evacuate safely.

Too late for that. Full scale bedlam has broken loose. We’re all going to die, and we know it.

We just don’t want to die here, where we loathe each other so much.

Get. Me. Out. Of. Here.

 

For some reason, the elevators have been turned off. The staircase is jammed.

I can’t breathe. Too many people. Too hot. No air. Everyone is pushing. I fall. A man helps me up. We both fall. People step over us, on us. We use the wall and each other for support to get up. He’s my life line.

I lose sight of his face. He’s just a detached arm. A hand, clasping mine.

I try to help the people who are down. But if I stop to help them, I get knocked over by frantic people behind me.

I can’t breathe.

I’m going to suffocate and die in this staircase. I’m going to die in the staircase of a building of a job I hated.

I hear screaming.

It’s my own.

 

I see light – is that the street?  I push, push, PUSH. We’re bottlenecking at the edge. We’re crowning like the desperate head of an infant, one…last…PUSH.

I’m OUT.

 

All around me – chaos. The subway stations are shut down. The streets are pandemonium.

I begin the long walk home, on shaky legs, to my apartment downtown. As I walk, I pass people walking uptown. They are bloody. Torn. Disoriented. Covered in white dust and black soot.

I realize…these are the survivors.

The air in my neighborhood is black and filthy, like the inside of a chimney. Soot flecks fall from the sky and land on my hair. From the front of my building, I have a clear view of the wreckage.

And I know, in that moment, we’re all going to die, the people of New York City.

We’re all going to die today.

 

 

I don’t want to die. I’m only 32.

I still have shoes to buy.

 

No cell service. No land lines. No communication with the rest of the world.

I want to talk to my mom. I want her to know I love her.

 

I don’t particularly believe in God, but that moment – I decide to believe. And then, I do the oddest thing.

I fall to my knees. Right on the filthy, unyielding, abrasive, soot covered pavement. I was never religious before, but this moment feels like church to me.

“Dear God,

Please, please, don’t let me die. I know I haven’t always lived my life correctly. But if you let me live, I’ll be a better person. I’ll use hemp products. I’ll rescue a dog. I’ll drive a hybrid.”

I thought a moment.

“I know I might have pissed you off with those abortions. Since you made me so freakishly fertile that I got pregnant even on birth control, did you – WANT ME to have a baby? I promise, I won’t interfere with your plans again. Just please. Let me live. I’m not ready to die.” 

—-

I lived.

I got pregnant 16 months later. I kept my bargain with God.

Me and Him – we’re good.

 

In 2003, I gave birth to my son.

I had been given clarity, on September 11, 2001.

My son is the constant reminder of the good graces of God.

And I am grateful, not for the tragedy that day, that singular moment in history when searing images and heartbreaking stories changed the world forever,

but for the moment of clarity it afforded me. Which changed my world forever.

 

Dedicated to those who lost their lives - and gave me one.

We watched this happening – and still didn’t believe it was happening. .

 

This post is dedicated to the memory of those who gave their lives that day.

Where were you when it happened?
Talk to me. I’m listening. 

Enhanced by Zemanta
Advertisements

10369724_10204390839719554_1072926186598167868_n 2

 

I am not a calm person.

I suck in a crisis. When my kid is sick, I put on a fake calm facade, smiling bravely while I dial the pediatrician, all the while internally chanting “OMG he’s gonna die, OMG he’s gonna die…”

I barely survived September 11. Was I calm? NOT EVEN A TINY BIT. I cried, lost my shit and just generally acted like it was my last day on earth. Which I thought it was.

Calm? I wish I’d gotten my hands on a Colt M16 assault rifle. I would have gone all “Say hello to my little friend” on those motherfuckers who were trampling me to death while we tried to evacuate a building in midtown Manhattan.

Hurricane Sandy was yet another opportunity to be so NOT calm. To my credit, I started out calm – after all, I have a kid, But by the third day of no power, people began ripping off the little generators that everyone had humming on their front lawns. Now I had to buy an industrial sized chain to secure my generator to the house, that pathetic generator I could barely heat up soup with.

I lost my shit and screamed like a lunatic, “This IS SOME FUCKING GHETTO BULLSHIT! I DID NOT MOVE TO THE SUBURBS FOR PEOPLE TO LOOT MY MOTHERFUCKING LAWN! I HAVE A SICK CHILD! IF YOU COME NEAR MY GENERATOR I WILL KILL YOU!”

 

I’ve just started playing guitar again, for the first time in years, and my fingertips are getting torn up. One of my bestest blogging buddies, who shall go unnamed, although *cough cough* she’s from England and her name rhymes with “frizzy,” suggested I put superglue on them.

Does she not KNOW me? This sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.

I have a meditating frog yoga statue thingey in my back yard, and its toe had cracked off. I decided I would be all DIY and repair that, in addition to fortifying my fingertips, since purchasing a tube of Loctite 495 made me a superglue expert.

But I left the glue out without the cap on overnight, and a hard glue booger had ossified at the top. I had to pry that sucker  off with a safety-pin, and when I did, a glue geyser came spurting out like the money shot in a porno flick. Glue went everywhere. I had a frog’s toe glued to my fingertips, some of which got glued together, and I was VERY NOT CALM ABOUT THIS.

It’s really hard to Google “how do you remove superglue” with your nipples. FYI.

 

I’ve had a couple of online friends tell me they didn’t like the way I talk to them.

I’M FROM NEW YORK. Saying “fuck you, motherfucker!” is like saying “hello!” I type “mot” into my phone, and it auto fills in “motherfucker.” Not even “mother.” It goes right to the “fucker.”

When I’m upset, excited, happy, angry, when I’m just about ANYTHING, I go BIG. I don’t know if that’s simply my innate temperament, or a byproduct of growing up in New York. And I’m never just upset. I’m DEVASTATED. I’m not hungry, I’m STARVING. I don’t have a headache, it’s A BRAIN TUMOR AND I’M GOING TO DIE.

People know that about me. Most people are just used to it. In many situations, it can be a fabulous thing. For example, when we were on the birthday party circuit, that parade from hell that never ends, I was a welcome guest. Because I never sat on the sidelines with the other moms. I dove into those ball pits and bouncy castles with the kids. Have you ever read in the news about elementary school children murdering one another in a bouncy castle in New Jersey? Exactly. Your welcome. 

My kid is not even embarrassed anymore. He’s just so used to my exuberance he doesn’t even flinch at karate competitions when I scream “KICK HIS ASS!” He actually asked me to volunteer every year at his school’s field day, because I screamed and hollered until I was hoarse, cheering on all the kids. By name. Especially the ones whose parents weren’t there.

I have a big personality. This is sometimes used as code for “is annoying as fuck,” “freaks out if she isn’t the center of attention,” “has big tits.”

I may fall into the first two categories, but certainly not intentionally. I just tend to experience things very strongly, and express my feelings. I’m passionate about the things I love, the things I hate, and most things in between. I’ll stop the car to throw my kid out if he’s rude, but I’m just as likely to stop and pull over for us to look at a beautiful sunset.

 

My BIG personality does not translate well electronically. If I’m disagreeing with someone via text or messenger, “Fuck you, you’re an asshole! I hate you!” does not bode well with the person on the other end. Those words come off much more aggressively when typed.

In real life, I’ve used the exact same words. But the person can tell, by my body language, my tone, my intonation, that what I’m saying is, “This is getting us nowhere! Can we just agree to disagree? Now let’s go take a shower together. If you’re nice to me, I’ll blow you.”

 

That’s another thing. Do you want a nice calm blowjob,the kind that’s so relaxed I fall asleep doing it? I’ll bet not. And I wonder – do those really calm women, the ones who are so quiet and even tempered and unemotional (wait, are there any women like that?), do they flip a switch and go wild in bed? THAT’S a nice little fantasy. Now just make her a mute with a degree in cooking from Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute while we’re at it. Knock out a few of those pesky teeth that get in the way, and voila! The perfect woman.

 

So DON’T tell me to calm down. I don’t WANT to be calm. As much as I wish for that kind of chill demeanor when to have it would be beneficial, I’d rather be the expressive, passionate, exuberant person I am.

I can always dial myself down a little. But those calm, low-key people with the energy level of potted plants – they’re gonna have a hell of a time trying to dial it UP.

You might think I’m too much. Maybe, you’re not enough?

 

Do you know people who are naturally calm? Are they on something? Is my personality super annoying? Be honest.
Talk to me. I’m listening.