Narda and I were asleep, and Tom had just come in from walking the dog, Resque. He said Shelli, Narda, wake up, a plane just hit the World Trade Center.
Now Narda and I are both theatre folks, and generally have a slightly difficult time waking up.
We thought Tom was kidding. He said no. We turned on the news. We thought it was a small Cessna plane or something similar, a mistake, an accident.
We watch the news some more, and plane two hits. We lose color in our faces, and run up to the roof, we can't see anything. We throw on bras and somewhat acceptable clothing and run outside.
At the time, we lived on West 27th Street and 6th avenue, and had a nice little view of the towers from our corner.
Traffic was NON-existent. People were flooding the streets.
There was smoke coming out of the twin towers.
We are in shock, go back inside, make coffee, and stay glued to the TV for hours. I put a video tape in to catch the news of the day. (I still haven't watched it again...)
Around 10am, we decide to do something. We all go out and vote.
We come outside from voting, on 23rd and 6th, and I look downtown. I say to Tom and Narda: "Hey, you guys, I think there's only one tower." Tom just reassures me that it's the smoke from the towers obscuring the view.
We walk back to the apartment, and back to the tv... My sick vision has come to pass. BOTH towers are now gone.
I had been having problems with my old roommate Jane, as we had been friends since Junior highschool, and we had been roommates for about 7 years - far too long to live with someone that you are not having sex with. I remember that she works for the Federal Reserve bank of NY, and I immediately try to use the phone. No luck. No Internet, no cell phones, and land line service is intermittent. I finally get a hold of Jane's folks in Portland, Oregon, and Yes, they have heard from her. Thank G-d. She, and her fellow employees have been ushered down into the basement of her building, and they had one phone, but no news. They are eventually let out to go home, and she, among the others, walk home through the smoke, debris, ash, and human remains.
We thought the death toll was 10 thousand. It was almost 3 thousand. 3 thousand too many. Young, old, rich and poor.
At the time, I didn't know Jordana and David; Narda and I would meet them a few years later, in our Derech Torah class. We became friends, and have continued that friendship past the class's end date. Jordana's father perished in the towers. Herman Sandler, z'l. They read his name today. I thought it was a hard day for me and my memories. I cannot imagine being in her shoes.
Jordana, I send you love. nothing more, and certainly nothing less.