Friday, September 11, 2009

5:00 Fridays

It was the breathing room I needed between the end of my summer residency and the beginning of my last semester of graduate school. Mother Nature was graciously hosting a soiree in the meteorological sweet spot of Chicago's seasons. I decadently slept in, briefly opening my eyes to bid Mac Daddy adieu before he headed to the train. As per my request, he left on the bathroom radio so I could lazily wake up to the tune of my internal clock.

The DJs, Eric and somebody I can't recall, were bantering about something banal. Their cornpone schtick was reason enough for me to drift back to sleep.

And then I heard the fright and horror and disbelief in their screaming voices. No 7 second delay that morning. What I heard was raw. On edge. And terrifyingly real.

The day was September 11, 2001.

And Mac Daddy was on the "L" heading to his office in the Wrigley Building on Michigan Avenue.

A building the radio was frenetically rattling off on a list of potential targets. A building that was being evacuated.

Phone lines were down. Trains were halted. The news was full of holes and questions and what ifs. The news was making me frantic thinking that Chicago was next.

And it was hours before Mac Daddy was home safely. Hours before I breathed.

Yet my measley hours of worry pale in embarrassing comparison to those who felt real loss and fright that day.

We all have 9/11 etched in our psyche in some fashion.

My calendar calls 9/11 Patriot Day. Even the book The Daily Cocktail serves up a 9/11 special.

American Glory

3 ounces champagne
2 ounces orange juice (pulp free calcium enriched, might as well make your drinking healthy!)
2 ounces lemonade

Pour all the ingredients into an ice-filled Collins glass. Garnish with blueberries and raspberries skewered on a toothpick.

Take a slow, cautious sip. Say a little prayer if you wish. Make a toast. Whisper thanks. Wipe a tear. Breathe.

Cheers, my friends. Here's to New York and Washington, D.C. and all the places scattered about the map that thousands of brave souls called home.

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Anonymous said...

Wonderful post.

Ree said...

Cheers indeed. Lovely post my friend.