Archive for September 2012
I’m not sure what prompted me to write this today, as opposed to the other ten September 11ths that we’ve observed since 2001. Mine was not even a minor September 11 story. I did not lose any close friends or family in the attacks. It’s the stories of those who died, those of their families — such as this one in yesterday’s Stamford Advocate, just to highlight one example — are the ones to pay attention to, as are those of the first responders who sacrificed everything. In contrast, this is my personal blog, and this was an opportunity to put down my thoughts. I’m planning to treat this as a work-in-progress, filling in and correcting details as needed, and doing some rewrites, so I look forward to feedback.
On the night of September 11, 2001, we got to the front of the line at Mama Buddha, on Hudson Street in Greenwich Village, just as they were taping a sign to their window saying they needed to close for a while. They seemed to be the only restaurant open for blocks. They’d been jammed with customers for hours, and the staff needed a break.
They looked at me, sweaty and wearing hospital scrubs, and then quietly asked how many in my party. I didn’t really think about why they were letting us in despite the sign, just said it was four or five. It was only as we were being seated that I realized I was being faced with an Ethicist-worthy question. Do I tell the hostess that I hadn’t actually been working at the hospital, as the staff obviously assumed from my scrubs, but had shown up only to be gratefully told I wasn’t needed?
We decided to stay. We were hungry, we weren’t taking food away from legitimate rescuers – the crowd looked to be locals who didn’t want to sit in their apartments – and I had tried to volunteer, after all. We figured we’d leave a big tip.
We did, and then we dispersed to various parts of Manhattan, me to Hell’s Kitchen, my friend Gady and the others to their hotels. We weren’t sure what was in store the next day, but we knew we’d need some rest. Read the rest of this entry »