The sound of the phone ringing gradually woke me. Nearly 6am (Pacific coast time), only UK friends would call me at this unearthly time in the morning. Sleepily I reached for the phone and pulled it to my ear only to hear the dial-tone. Who-ever called had hung-up. I never found out who called. Awake I decided to get up and make myself a cup of tea, to enjoy the sunny morning before setting out for work.
In my doziness I stubbed my toe on the half-packed suitcase, preparing for my planned sailing holiday in Greece. Scheduled to fly out on September 16th I was looking forward to a club holiday with English friends I hadn’t seen for a long time, a reunion vacation.
I put the kettle and TV on. The sound of emergency services, the stressful pitch of the voices, the urgency and drama was clear before I’d even realised what I was seeing. I watched as flight 175 hit the South Tower. I cried.
Nearly 3 hours later at work, not much work being done, by anyone. Many people just didn’t turn up, those who did were phoning relatives and friends, trying to reassure themselves that the people they knew who worked in the World Trade centre were ok. Everyone seemed to know someone who worked in the towers or lived nearby. The general sense of anxiety mixed with silence lasted all day and soaked into the future.
All flights in the US airspace were grounded. I never joined my friends in Greece, a small loss in the whole scheme of things. My parents, in Italy, had nowhere to stay because American tourists, unable to get home, were staying in the hotel rooms my parents had booked
That day changed my world