September 12, 2001 was the first time in my existence that I saw New York City silenced by anything beyond its control. We all know the story of what occurred the day prior so no need to repeat.
Fast forward about two weekends ago. On the last weekend of October, I had no idea what was about to happen to the Empire State in the next couple of days. The day after Hurricane Sandy hit, there was no noise in the city that never sleeps; only disbelief. The wrath of that storm crippled the city. Every major bridge was closed. Every mode of public transportation was halted. Various places lost power. Tides seeped water onto land while homes and cars were destroyed. Fires ignited and the strong winds had carried the flames to neighboring buildings. Soon an entire town of homes would burn to the ground.
Familiar faces would lose their homes; others not as affected but close to it. Damage was everywhere while the city just looked on. This fast paced environment watched a storm take all of their possessions like a thief in the night and couldn’t do anything.
When the city woke up, it was time to rebuild. However, the gas shortage made it difficult to travel the roads. Train systems were flooded so that was not an option. No buses were in sight so walking was the only option for some. Cell phones calls ended instantly in busy signals. Some calls never went through even after numerous tries. All we could do was hope that everything was alright with whom we expected to be on the other end of those calls.
I was barely impacted. I was one of the fortunate; or was I? I became the switch board operator, the news broadcaster, the attendance taker, the chauffeur, the adviser, the running man, etc. Oh I am not complaining, because of my situation I felt truly blessed and bitching was not on my list. I didn’t know what to say to or about those who were not in the same boat as me so I did as much as I could for others during this difficult time as I whispered in the sound of silence.