Part of me would rather not, but yes, let’s talk about how wholly unsettling a feeling one gets when one’s employee bursts into one’s office and asks, “Do you see the smoke uptown? I was told a plane flew into a building.” And the pit that swells in the stomach, and the emotions from 2001, very recently revisited, that flood back: the sounds, the smells, the confusion, the horror.
And let’s reflect upon the suppression of the horror, the forced effort to maintain an even keel, in order to investigate the situation, both out of curiosity and necessity, and to try to share the news and a bit of the shock with one’s curious visitors from Paris, yet with the least possible mention of previous events, to them or to any New Yorkers in the room.
And let’s layer on top of this the concept of heading to LaGuardia Airport for a business flight less than three hours following the discovery of said uptown smoke, amid rush hour, pouring rain, and the aftermath of a minor but very real hysteria, only 13 blocks north of one’s office, and the knee-jerk reactions that spew from the gut, conversations that bluntly go something like:
“I think you should just go to the airport and take your flight.”
“Oh? Would you have said that last time?”
And add to that the hour-plus car service delays, the need to hail an off-duty cab and cajole the driver into a last fare, the perverse feeling of trying not to miss a flight while not wanting to get on the plane, and the fact that Yankee pitcher and deceased pilot Cory Lidle was profiled in the New York Times five weeks ago…to showcase his hobby as a pilot, in a piece that includes this paragraph:
“A player-pilot is still a sensitive topic for the Yankees, whose captain, Thurman Munson, was killed in the crash of a plane he was flying in 1979. Lidle, acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies on July 30, said his plane was safe.”
So, yeah. Let’s not.