Saturday, September 11, 2010

Nine years

"Tyler Durden, perhaps?"

I remember exactly where I was when I sent that text message, leaving UCD for a bus into town having visited my sister Elmo in her new digs. It's easy to be glib when you're 22 and thousands of miles from the fog, easier still to frown back at it at a remove of nine years.

I'd been summoned with my colleagues to a meeting in work that morning.

Captain Bollock and his crew took us into the boardroom, where great plans never made it to fruition, and told us that we were being phased out. We'd maybe get another month's work and then head for the dole queue.

I was off that day so, having headed down to indulge in some gallows humour with the huddled garage smokers, I got on a bus out to Belfield.

She didn't have a television yet, Elmo, so we were just chatting about my upcoming unemployment when my father rang to tell me that one of the Twin Towers had blown up. We found a radio, sketchy details, hearing 'terrorist attack' and 'hijacking' and about things that were burning up.

Empathy, upset and that dreadful change would come later but what I remember of the afternoon was a strange exhilaration.

Wanting to find out more and more, checking whatever there was of the internet back in 2001. Ananova.com and the faces of foreigners gathered around small screens in O'Neills, Things Mote, Davy Byrnes and up Grafton Street. I stole into one pub after another without stopping for a drink, just tapping people on shoulders and asking for developments.

As the day got darker I got the first fear that someone I knew could have been in New York at the time, but that was dispelled with a phone call or two.

I'd arranged to meet a friend of mine in MacTurcaills (when it was still something of a pub) and the only things that come to me now are the yellow walls, the crowdlessness and the fact that we were mostly without words. For the first time in ten hours, or so, I remembered losing my job.

11 comments:

Mark G. said...

We all got fired that year, Radge. You just had a head start.

Radge said...

As it turned out, I never left.

Kath Lockett said...

I had a day off and had invited my friend Catherine over for lunch with her 3 month old baby. We barely ate, but sat in front of the TV, alternating between sorrow and 'what on earth kind of world is it going to be from now on?'

We both worked at the same place and I rang her the next day to say that AK, an-ex workmate who was destined to be a high flyer, had been in one of the towers and not made it. A phD fund was immediately set up in his honour.

Luckily for us, very little has changed. Not so for roughly 100,000 Aghans and Iraqis.

Holemaster said...

The twin towers are alive and well in a town visited recently.

Tell me if I'm wrong: http://i55.tinypic.com/2a5175c.jpg

Radge said...

Where's that?

Holemaster said...

San Gimignano in Tuscany. The similarity is uncanny, both physically and ideologically.

Anonymous said...

Exhilaration? Really?

Radge said...

Yeah, great telly, wasn't it?!

Come on. I'm not saying I took joy out of it. I think the post gets that across.

McMuck and the Mystery of the Kuúgleflarg said...

I was in the board room that day. Long lunch followed. Then back to the office. I remember my first thought was how odd it was that they had a film on the telly instead of Sky Sports News.

Radge said...

That's right, a shared experience we had.

Dot-Com said...

A day not to forget...