Dramatic Situations Breed Affection and Sincerity

I was experiencing what felt a lot like vertigo. Was the building swaying or was I just imagining this? I was on the tenth floor of a Manhattan office building, sitting at my tiny desk in my tiny office that I shared with one other woman. She, too, started complaining of an uneasy feeling. Pretty soon, a small commotion erupted throughout the office.

Do you feel that?”

Does anyone else feel like the building is moving?”

I remained calm as we were quickly ushered to the stairwell.

We had no idea what was causing the building to shake as it was but images of 9/11 began flashing through my mind. Here we were, a few dozen women hurrying down several flights of a dimly lit stairwell. I recall someone continuing to tell us all to breathe and remain calm.

Does anyone else feel like the building is moving?”

I couldn’t help but wonder, if this is another terrorist attack, is going outside truly the best solution? Honestly, I wasn’t certain. I was in an American history classroom in a trailer behind my high school in the Midwest when we received news of the first plane careening into the world trade center tower. I suppose everyone in the twin towers wanted to be outside. A plane certainly hadn’t hit us, though, so what was happening?

Oh, my God! My husband was on the subway en route to my office. What if he’s stuck underground by whatever caused our building to shake? And we can’t communicate because there’s no cell service in the subway? How long until I’ll be able to reach him? And…the thoughts continued to spin.

My coworkers and I stepped out onto the streets of Fifth Avenue joining barrages of business attire clad professionals. The rumors began spreading. I apparently wasn’t the only New Yorker fearing terrorism on that sunny, Tuesday afternoon in August of 2011.

A 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck, centered near Richmond, Virginia. It was felt up and down the Eastern seaboard. This revelation was met with a sigh of relief from many shaken Manhattanites, but I still couldn’t reach my husband. Cell phone service was wildly interrupted by the uptick in usage between the hours of 1:30 and 2:00 p.m.

Safety and Relief after Dramatic Situations

When my phone buzzed with his safety, I was able to finally calm down. He didn’t even know what had happened. Thankfully, the subways were unaffected by the jolts.

The understandable panic that struck Manhattan that day likely caused many to hug their loved ones closer and tighter that night. I know I did. It’s unfortunate that it oftentimes takes such a dramatic event to encourage this kind of sincere affection.

Even though Manhattan was not experiencing another terror attack that afternoon, there remained an intense heaviness on my heart. I was carrying something with me. Knowing what it was, I just wasn’t ready to acknowledge it. Shortly after, I’d be forced to.

To be continued…

Reflecting in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY Dramatic Situations
Reflecting in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY

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