Sunday, September 03, 2006

Another, longer ago.

I have had two temp jobs since I came to NYC. The first was a one-day job on a Friday, sitting in for a receptionist of a brokerage firm in the World Trade Center. It was incredibly boring. It was in the days before voicemail, so my job was to answer phone lines if the executives didn't pick up after two rings, and I'd just stare at the console when it beeped and wait before picking up the receiver. I scrawled notes on pink memo slips and wished I'd brought a book to read.

The office was on a high floor, the exact number which I don't recall. (Yet, now, I can look it up in Wikipedia and see that it could have been one of several, just above the impact site.) I sat at a desk in an open area, and from my seat could see the windows on both sides, windows which went practically to the floor, windows which gave a view of nothing but sky and clouds, because of course there was nothing that was as tall as we were. I am not very good with heights and it made me feel slightly nauseous and unsteady on my feet when I left for my lunch break and when I was finally allowed to go home for the day.

It was with relief that I secured another temp assignment the following Monday, one that turned into a six month stint and a job offer, and eventually 9 1/2 years of my life. But when I thought of the people who worked in the towers - in 1993, when the bomb exploded in the parking garage, and then, of course, 8 1/2 years later - I remembered that queasy sense of being suspended in the air looking out of windows that held nothing but sky.


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