Monday, September 11, 2006

Thinking of Carlos

Is it okay to say that mostly I try not to think about the terribly sad things?

I had a group of friends in high school, some closer than others. I had not spoken to Carlos in many years. He was very smart, had a warm heart, and he and Steven nursed me through calculus and chemistry. I always suspected that he had a crush on our friend Igor (her real name is Diane, but somehow the nickname stuck). Mostly, I remember that he wasn't a stylish dresser, that he carried a brief case to class! When he went off to college at Rensselaer, I teased him "RPI where the men are many, the women are few, and the sheep are nervous." I remember talking to him on the phone once a few years later-- he had a girl friend, a woman he later married. I heard they had two little boys, but knew little else about how his life had gone.

Igor and I had been exchanging phone messages for some time-- nothing urgent, just to say hi.

After September 11th, there were a flurry of messages on our high school list-serve. Where was Sam? Sam chimed in, he was fine, he'd stayed home from work that day. Where was Carlos? Someone else chimed in that they thought Carlos worked for Port Authority on the New Jersey side, he was presumably fine.

I walked in the door a bit late that evening and my husband told me to call Igor right away. My heart sank, I dialed and simply said, "Carlos."

Carlos worked in the World Trade Center, he died in the disaster.

It was a horrible, anxious time, all the more so after I had a face--and a family-- to place on the tragedy. Please-- no sympathy comments for me-- Carlos was remote from my day-to-day life, and so many people lost loved ones who were integral to their lives. I just wanted to say that for so long after, I thought about him everyday, and I'm thinking about Carlos again today.