I am a smouldering heap of rage. (Very, very long)

We listened to the radio at work, shocked. When the announcer said that the building had fallen we all ran to the conference room, the one with the television. Grown men blinked back tears. I choked on the lump in my throat but I wouldn’t cry because crying is silly, useless and stupid. Especially at work.

Beerchick reminded me that Blue Cross had moved from where we had worked together for 7 years. They’d moved into the WTC. I came to the SDMB and checked the New York Doper check in thread and realized our very own vix worked in the building. Margarette, Shalome, Nilda, Larry (who used to fall asleep while talking on the phone!, Gale and Gina-- two of the best supervisors I’d ever worked under, vix, Beerchick’s brother-in-law. He had called from the underground mall when the first plane hit. Martin’s a pretty shady character but, dear God, I hoped he had listened to Beerchick’s advice and gotten the fuck out. And then the second building fell. All those people. So I lost it at work. Big, gulping slobbering sobs.

It was good to get it out of my system and I was glad to be done with the over-emotionalism. And I was done with it, I told myself.
Park Slope is a lovely neighborhood. Bohemian and family oriented. Part of the neighborhood’s collective experience is visiting the firehouse. It’s an initiation of sorts for the 2 public elementary schools in my area. Every single kindergarten class has been, along with the parents. Park Slope is the coolest, we’ve got Squad 1. 9 years later my kids were still saying “Hi” to FireBob when we saw him (and the rest of them) in our local Key Food.

Five days after the buildings fell our firehouse still hadn’t reopened. Houseman came home from a community board meeting and said that apparently the first plane hit during a shift change at our Squad 1. They all left. It’s maybe 15 minutes from Park Slope to lower Manhattan, even less on a screaming fire truck.

The day after the community board meeting there were candles in front of the firehouse. People were stopping, milling about. Two women were hugging each other. So I stop too. There is a peice of paper taped on the big, fireengine red door. 15 men lost. Including FireBob. So there I stood in the middle of the street with tears streaming down my face.
Two weeks since the buildings fell. New York is beginning to settle down to normal. Or as normal as a city that is searching a pile of rubble for 6000 or so missing persons can get. Transportation is disrupted sporadically, but continuously. It’s amazing how an unattended suitcase can bring this mighty city to a standstill. I can’t get to work on Monday the 17th. There’s a bomb scare at Flatbush Ave. – a major hub of subway and the Long Island Rail Road.

I do the reverse commute. I go from the city into Long Island on the LIRR. The 8:01 out of Jamaica is always crowded. Standing room only crowded. There is a man stretched out across three seats. His sneakers are beside him and his socks are caked with clay. He’s a sort of ashen gray color all around and he’s practically comatose. No one says anything. He’s an iron worker. The iron worker’s union have been doing most of the heavy lifting in the rescue-turned-digging out mission. They’ve been doing it with no applause, acclaim or even much recognition.

On the way out I see that some of my fellow commuters have left notes all around him. “Sleep well”, “Thanks and God bless”, “You are our Strength”. So there I was, two weeks later, shedding useless, silly tears on the Hicksville LIRR platform.
I’m a native New Yorker. I love my city. It’s the best damned city in the whole world. My love for my city comes with a certain, strange housepride. The Empire State Building? Never been to the top. I don’t need to because it’s my building, see? I’ve been to the observation floor in the WTC. My friends and I cut out of school and, well, we were pretty close. We could go play in the mall, eat at the diner on the corner and take a look-see at the top. It’s our city after all. Our splendor. Our awe-inspiring architecture. It was and still is my beautiful, steel canyon city.

I haven’t been to ground zero-- or the hot zone or even the warm zone. But this didn’t stop me from asking anyone who might know about some old friends of mine.
“Border’s? How’s the bookstore?” I asked.
I was answered with a sad shake of the head, “Gone, man.”
“Century 21? How can I do my Christmas shopping without Century 21?”
“I don’t think it survived.”
“The diner on the corner? Sunglass Hut? The green-globed buildings? The church on the other corner?”

A co-worker hands me a Times Magazine. There is a spread in it-- Buildings Lost or Endangered.

No crying at work! No crying at work! I tell myself. Yeah, right.
Why is this in The Pit?
Because I want the fuckers dead. My anger has not cooled over these past almost 3 weeks. It has simmered unabated until now it is at a permenant boil. I want them dead and I want to kill them.

I’m glad my government is being rational. I’m quite proud that the U.S. didn’t immediately launch whatever it could at whoever might have done this. But if I could I would sneak into Afghanistan and personally kill OBL and every single Taliban official I could get my hands on. Here I am trying to go about my day to day living while filled to almost bursting with impotent, useless and sometimes incredibly blinding rage.

Help me.

I can’t say that I can help, aside from reassuring you that America is doing what it can about the situation, and that America will continue to do what it has always done.
And that was a hell of a post, came very close to putting a lump in my throat, and I don’t even know you.

I don’t know what to say, Biggirl. I want to say something to comfort you, but I don’t know anything that could help. If it helps to hear that what you’re feeling is okay, and people as far away as Calgary, Alberta were crying with you on that day, (and after reading your post), then that’s what I have to say.

Now look at what you made me do. I’m crying. Fuck. I had been doing a pretty good job of tuning out because I’d gotten to the point of emotional overload. But New Yorkers can’t do that so well, can they? You have to be reminded of this every fucking day. My God.

I’ve only visited NYC a handful of times, but I love the place. I don’t know if I could live there, but the energy, the vibrancy of the city captivates me. I was more affected by the WTC than the Pentagon, even though I live much closer to the latter, because for one thing, the scale was so vastly different, and also, I didn’t know anybody working in the Pentagon. I care so much about the NYDopers I’ve met, and it freaked me out when some were unaccounted for for a while.

Biggirl, my heart aches for you. There’s nothing I can offer you but my sympathy. I don’t know how much good it will do, but there it is.

Oh, biggirl, I am so, so sorry. It breaks my heart to read posts like yours. Intellectually, I know how bad it is; I’m even amazed that it wasn’t worse. Emotionally, though, I have barely begun to grasp it. So many dead, so many more whose lives have been completely torn apart.

Yeah, I want the bastards dead too.

BIGGIRL, all I can do is add my voice to the chorus telling you that you are not alone. I had tears in my eyes reading your post. I cried last night at a news piece in which a spokesman for the NY fire department asked the public – total strangers – to go the funerals of firemen, because there are so many funerals, so many dead, and so many firemen busy covering shifts or digging out, that they simplly cannot turn out and make a good, supportive showing at every service. He said, in effect, that the firemen can’t turn out to properly honor a fallen brother because too many who would do the honoring are themselves dead.

I cry every day, and I really feel like my life will never be the same; that for me there will always be “before” and “after.” I’m so angry and I don’t know what to do with feeling so sad and yet so enraged. And I’m not even in New York; I’m in Seattle – couldn’t be further away unless I was on a different continent.

So I know it’s not much, but FWIW, you’re not alone.

Biggirl, In some ways every person in America became a New Yorker that day. Our suffering is horrible from 1500 miles away and I really can’t begin to imagine what it must be like to see it firsthand, to realize the loss of friends and have landmarks of security desecrated. Like The Other One, I’m lumping up after reading your words. I’m proud of you, your strength, and what we as a people stand for. We’re better than the waste that did this and hopefully our strength will be a deterrent to anyone else that would consider such acts.

** Biggirl, ** I won’t even try to have the words. I don’t. As much as all of us feel pain for what has happened, we can’t even begin to guess what this is like for New Yorkers.

My heart and my tears go out to you.


Biggirl, my thoughts are with you and your loved ones. I cried all day that Tuesday, and still do, when I look at my toddler and my pregnant belly and think of those kids without parents now.

We will kick ass. You’ll see. Having a brother who served proudly as a US Army Ranger (special operations warfare command), I even have a pretty good idea of what’s going to happen to those people, and it ain’t pretty.

It’s ok to be angry and scared and hurt and pissed.

I am coming to NYC in December, to see a couple of shows, go shopping and eat out for every meal. I am not afraid of the airplane or the city. I will also pay my respects, as close as I can get to ground zero.

I will also buy the next firefighter I see his/her drink/dinner/coffee, and will continue to do so indefinetly.

I’m flying to New York tonight. It’s an amazing city, I’ve always loved it, and I don’t want to look at the big hole in the skyline when I fly over but I know I won’t be able to help it. I’m so sorry for your losses, Biggirl. Stay angry. Be good to the ones you love. Stay hopeful.

Biggirl - you know you have my sympathies, but I think it would be damn near saint like for anyone who lived/worked in NYC to not feel rage and all of the other things you’re feeling still. This was a massive pain in so many ways.

But you know what - while you’ve seen the effects of absolute evil, you’ve also seen the core goodness in run of the mill folks around you - from that steelworker, on down to all the folks who put notes on him.

Please, take care of yourself.

FWIW (which ain’t much…)

I don’t know you, or any of those board members you mentioned, or anyone else from NYC, for that matter. I’m a hick from the heartland. It’d be stupid to tell you I shared your pain or grief. There’s no way I could feel either as keenly as you or anyone else who’s been directly and personally affected by this tragedy.

What I can say is that every cynical notion I had about New Yorkers has been disabused by the strength, resolve, and courage I’ve seen displayed by the citizens of NYC since the 11th. I can say without shame that I’ve cried like a baby more than once since then, too.

And I can say, without hesitation, that I share your rage.

Justice will be served. It might not be today, or tomorrow, but have no doubt; one day soon, those responsible for this will look up and see the Four Horsemen approaching, and perhaps they’ll have just enough time to question the wisdom of their actions before they pay the ultimate price.

FWIW, I was real glad to hear on 9/11 that you were okay. I’d say more about your post but you know what they say about crying at work, even after hours.

I think it was more than just Americans. I think that on September 11, 2001, citizens of the world became New Yorkers.

I checked on the way by this morning. Our Fire Station’s flag is still at half mast.

Thanks all and you have helped. It’s just strange to be blindsided by this overwhelming feeling of helpless rage. I mean real, honest to goodness I want to fucking KILL somebody rage popping up so unexpectedly. To be walking down your street and the smell of tar being layed down in the street reminding you of that awful week when your whole neighborhood smelled of those bent for genitalia-burning-hell terrorist’s handiwork.

I hate them. I really do.
Just to clarify, all the people save Shalome and Nilda have been contacted. I don’t have those two’s telephone numbers anymore and so I can’t find them. But they’re all right. I know those two and they were probably the first ones out the door.

I have always loved New York as well. I spent relatively little time in Lower Manhattan - when I went, it was usually for a show or the museums. But I went to Nabu before it got all trendy. One weekend the only room I could get was in the Marriott in the financial district. I love the city, and I can only say…

…aw, hell. There isn’t anything to say. John Donne said that one man’s death diminshed him, for he was involved in mankind.

He never saw planes hitting buildings.

  • Rick

Not weird at all, given the circumstances…

Just out of curiosity, how many regulars here were potentially involved? Being a newbie, I wouldn’t know…I’m still trying to get a feel for the board & where everyone’s from.

Here’s the checkin link.

I wish I could be angry like you, Biggirl. Instead, I just have insanely misdirected feelings of loss. Today I remembered yet another thing that was in my office in the World Trade Center: a mousepad my Aunt Marie had brought me from Italy. I got so sad thinking about that stupid mousepad. Then I made a list of the other things I lost. Nothing of monetary value. Only photos and souvenirs and gifts and other mementoes. I think I have to focus on those insignificant things because I can’t bring myself to consider the real losses.

And I should really stop posting when I’m this tired and cranky. (When is that, again?)

I sort of can understand this. The magnitude of what happened is too big to actually grasp. Above a certain level of stress, our real-Life filters kick in, and we get overly emotional about small things: “I can never use my Italian mousepad again” is small enough to fit in our brains, whereas “thousands of lives were destroyed and dozens of billions of dollars’ worth of damage done” is way too big.

I really hope all you guys will be ok.

To be honest, my anger has passed, and any fear I felt has gone with it. All I feel now is sort of a grim determination that the only way to put an end to this kind of attack is heavy-handed violence against the perpetrators.

That and a vague fear that the only thing that’s going to happen is a couple guys put in jail or executed after a nice, neat trial, being defended by Johnny Cochran. ugh.