My friend, Theo, did not freeze like I did on 911, he went into the cloud

By Theodore Davis

And how so different the world was during our long Labor Day weekend when I introduced you to the land called Fire Island. Amidst our frivolity, we were inspired by Churchill and protected by War Angels. We had no idea what was to commence a mere eight days later.

I was employed as an enforcement attorney at the AMEX on 9-11 and was at my desk on the 17th floor at 165 Broadway listening to a voice message from my mother (who advised me not to come to work) when the south tower collapsed. My entire building shook and I heard a deep, evil roar that lasted many seconds. I raced down the stairs into the dimly lit and crowded lobby where a doorman was covering his nose and directing people to the fallout shelter. I hadn’t seen the tower fall, and my first thought was that we had been nuked. There was construction going on and I grabbed a shovel and tried to make my way out to lower Broadway, but it was so dark, it as was if someone had slapped black paint on the windows. I was dumbfounded. People stumbled into the lobby covered from head to toe in ash, vomiting. When I could see enough to make my way outside into the settling ash, I thought about heading north to help dig; instead, I headed south toward the Battery. I dusted ash off the Bull and seriously considered bobbing back to Brooklyn on anything that would float. I was all alone in Bowling Green park when the second tower fell, I feared a stampede so I tried to climb a tree. But, there was no one else in the park as the second plume descended. I held my breath as long as I could. It was eerily quiet – like when you are outside in the falling snow. I found some people and a hose near the Ellis Island ferry landing, and cleaned myself off. Standing amongst the ashed and the dusted, someone told us that the Pentagon was hit. The Pentagon. And then we heard the fighter jets, obscured by the smoke. I wondered, “are they ours?”. I tossed the shovel to some firefighters from Staten Island as they raced off the ferry toward the pile. When I got on the ferry – the last one to leave lower Manhattan that day – the vicar of Trinity Church tried to read aloud the 23rd Psalm, but instead, he fell into my arms, weeping. He was at least a foot taller than me. Once underway, we all looked back from the top deck toward Ground Zero and gazed upon an open, blue sky where the towers were supposed to be. That’s the moment that I realized the world would never be the same again. To this day I am anxious in elevators, look up when I hear a low-flying jet, and, am still trying try to fathom such searing heat that would make people jump 1000 feet to the street below. Back in 1990, I worked on the 99th floor of the South Tower. Sometimes I dream that I am still there.

On September 17, 2001, I wrote “Tuesday”. Here it is to share with my beloved friend Dean’s blog.

Molten steel

Twisted iron flesh.

Burning cinders

Clouded souls aloft.

Hopeless in skeletal remains.

Standing tall

Twins of destiny,

Sorrowful companions we.

Day to day

We seek to turn this page.

Month of anger, fear, and rage.

Now dusted breath inhale.

Resolve. Remains.

On laser-printed memories

decedents’ face abound.

Tearing down to rise again

Forget, we never shall.

Author: Dean Crutchfield

Builds Brands and Fixes Them When Broken

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