911

In retrospect my 911 story is pretty tame.  I had no idea what had happened as a i happily walked to work down Sunset Blvd to my job at the House of Blues.  I had started walking the 3 miles to work after deciding the bus in LA was too much to deal with.  I had just gotten shoved off the bus and scraped my knee by a homeless person so yeah, walking seemed like a good idea.

i got to work and did my early morning things setting up the office and organizing my boss’ calendar and addressing emails when the phone calls started rolling in from my roommates about what was happening in New York.  The only other person at the restaurant this early in the morning was the overnight security guard.  He came into my office asking if I knew how to turn on the televisions in the music hall to watch the news.  I did not.  We went to the front patio to smoke and speculate on the extent of the catastrophe.  It was hard to think about since it was so quiet and peaceful at 7AM at the house.  

My boss called on his way in and told me that things were going to get really bad and that I needed to remember that no matter what happened I would still have a job.  At that moment he knew the economy was going to change.  We were in the entertainment industry.  He knew that was the first place people stopped spending money on when things like this happen.  There were would be lots of sad people without jobs and his first words to me were that I was not going to be one of them.  I still had no real idea what was going on unable to wrap my brain around it but I started to get emotional feeding off the energy of the people who were calling me to give me a play-by-play on what they were seeing on the news or to tell me to brace myself because things were going to change.

We had a managers meeting that morning.  My boss had roused up everyone he could.  Getting those who closed out the club the night before was rough but mostly everyone made it.  Afterwards we closed the venue that day and were all sent home to be with our loves ones.  At that moment I felt so scattered.  Most of my loved ones were either on the east coast or in that room at the moment.  I hung out with my box office family for a bit before David drove me home and as we drove slowly down an eerily empty Sunset Blvd he told me the last time he had seen Hollywood this quiet was when they enacted a curfew during the Rodney King riots.

I got home, cuddled with my roommates on our enormous white couch and watched the news, listened to the helicopters outside and tried to make futile calls to the people we knew in NYC at the time.  From the way we felt we might as well have been in China half a world away.  We didn’t know how to process or how we were even supposed to feel.  Being in California felt helpless.  

The days that followed were slow moving and strange. I sat in the front office of a somber place as my boss had the awful job of letting go of so many of our staff.  I don’t even remember how many nights we had dark at the club.  I don’t remember how long it took to get a real show booked afterwards.

Of course there were lots of political debates and lots of anger and lots of arguments about the entire thing for months and months after.  i did what I do best.  I kept quiet vigil for the dead.  So many people had died.  When I would hear people argue about this, that and the other thing all I could think of was ‘There were so many.  So many people…’

I got it.  I understood.  People need something tangible to discuss otherwise their whole reality crumbles. I guess I feel like it’s easier for me to let reality crumble. Once it’s all fallen apart and at your feet the only thing you can do is to start again.

I’ve never really blogged or wrote about 911 because everyone else has and it’s not a story I like to recall as my experience of it felt so much like a drug induced confusing haze.  

My favorite 911 story though happened two years ago with the birth of my amazing little nephew.

I am so glad that a little samuel ruddle exists and that he likes trucks and trains and things with wheels and that I’ll be seeing him this upcoming christmas holiday.  

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