Wednesday, September 12, 2001

The Plan

Wednesday, September, 12, 2001

I got up at 5 am. When the sun came up, more food came in and I tried to
eat without much success. I asked for a clean shirt and someone was kind
enough to bring me one several hours later. Someone brought in the paper
and I could see the photos from where I was sitting. I began suffering
from what I could interpret as an anxiety attack or shock. I began
getting dizzy and my palms were sweating. I began sobbing. There was
talk of them moving us to Staten Island, but not Manhattan. If only
there was a face I could recognize...if only there was someone from my
building. I asked if there were any medical personnel as I knew what was
happening to me, yet was unable to control it. They sent over a
counselor. I told her that I was suffering from shock; that I can't
believe that I am alive and I need to be with people I know because not
seeing a familiar face is making me feel rather dead; I said that I need
to be near my cats; I do not feel safe here; and if I don't get back I
will lose my mind. She understood, and a small bus was brought in. Two
escorts took me to a train and escorted me back to Manhattan. I went to
my friend Fawn's flat and took another shower.

I washed my hair 3 times, but couldn't get the film off.
There was still soot under my toenails. She gave me some underwear,
pants and a t-shirt. I cried most of the day and tried to get to my
cats, but couldn't get past the barricades. There was a VOID of
information. I was worried about a building collapse and knew I wouldn't
be able to live with myself if anything happened to Sid and Elvis. I
barely ate. I was still hearing the phantom noises although it was
getting a little easier to discern what was real noise and what my mind
was replaying. I was on the phone all day trying to find a way rescue my
cats trying to get information. It was impossible. There was so much
confusion. A psyciatrist (and Family Doc) I work with, Stephen Quentzel, said he
would try to get me down there. He was my only hope. The plan was to get
in scrubs with my hospital i.d. and try to get past the barricades. I
drew a map of the lobby so I could memorize the quickest route as it
would be hard to navigate with merely a flash light. There was no power
and the hallways and staircases would be blacker than night. The plan
was to go at 10pm thursday.

Barbara Glickstein from my office brought me a homeopathic
remedy to help calm down. My brother, the Reverend, called while I
was crying and first thing he said was, "What's wrong with you now". I tried
to explain what I was going through, but it wasn't sinking in. He said,
"I saw pictures" and acted as if he knew. He has never been to my
apartment in the four years that I lived there and NO idea of how close
I was, or the miracle that I AND my cats are alive. He could not relate
to the immense sadness and anxiety I was experiencing because I was
still unable to rescue them. He was both oblivious and unsympathetic.
His tone was harsh and almost angry. I told him I had to go and hung up.
I realized that I survived death and am not obligated to maintain relations
with someone so insensitive and fake merely because he is family.

I couldn't sleep.

I kept hearing noises, felt like I was falling, seeing people
dying....it was like my mind was doing it's own thing...sorting. My body
was reacting by jumping a/o trembling. All of which was out of my
control. I fell asleep only to awaken at 3am to the sound of another
explosion. I turned on the tv and found no report of the event. It was
my mind again. It was a relief and yet frightening that I was not in
control of my body.

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