10 years ago I was living in New York City.
I was still an actress, but making ends meet at a Temp Agency in the Empire State Building. On September 11th, 2001, Abe was sent out on his very first job through my company. I wasn’t working that day, so I called him from our apartment in Astoria, Queens – bright and early to make sure he filled out the employment card correctly.
“The World Trade Center’s on fire,” he said when he answered his phone.
“There’s smoke coming from the World Trade Center. I can see it from the window here.”
I looked at the TV, but there was nothing on yet. I figured it must not be serious, and continued giving instructions about signing in, getting his supervisor’s signature, etc. As we were talking, the breaking news flashed across the screen. I relayed the information to Abe, who was immediately concerned.
“I’m coming home,” he responded.
“You can’t! You’re on a job! You just got there!”
“I don’t care, I’m getting out of here.”
Thank God for Abe’s insistence. As the day went on, it became clear how serious the situation was, and he literally ran home to me, catching a carpool with one of the last cabs to cross the Queensboro Bridge as the second tower collapsed.
We stood on our roof watching the smoke until we couldn’t see it anymore.
The days and weeks that followed were a daze. We spent time walking all over the city, including Ground Zero with Abe’s parents, who were volunteering their therapy services. We had long conversations with people we’d never spoken to before. I spent a lot of time with my family in NJ, taking time off from acting and the temp job. When the latter resumed, we dealt with constant evacuations and bomb threats.
I never felt frightened but was paralyzed for a while, and wondered when we would be able to move on.
Now it’s a decade later and I realize we have.