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.

4 comments:

NeoNurseChic said...

Dinah - That was a beautiful tribute to your friend there. I'm sorry that Carlos is yet another one of many great people we lost that horrible day. I had joined the 2996 project awhile back and wrote my blog post tonight in honor of Daniel James Shea. Danny and his older brother, Joe, were actually family friends - best friends of my aunt Sally. While I never got to meet them, I have since gotten to meet their widowed wives and the 7 children left behind between the two of them. I met them back in 2003 up in Nantucket where we all went for vacation.

To work today, I'm going to wear my red scrubs and also my 9/11 memorial ribbon pin. Going to be a long day, especially on no more than 2 hours sleep - but I really had to get that tribute written. I didn't want all of 9/11 to go by and have someone wonder if I was going to honor their loved one...that wouldn't be good.

Thanks for writing this post - it was really beautiful. Take care!

Carrie :)

jw said...

Dinah, a moving post! Many of us had connections to the WTC ...

I remember that day. I was babysitting 4 toddlers and a newborn: I had all the TV's on and tuned to CNN. My wife had taken a temp position as a tobacco grader, something she has done occasionally since she was a child.

The woman working with her, her daughter worked on the 90 somethingth floor of the south tower. We all were nervous that day ... The daughter turned out to have been on a training course in Virginia that day ... but we didn't know it until the next day.

It's my bet that most of us have some connection to that day ...

Fat Doctor said...

I am moved.

Gianni said...

That's why we care more about 5000 that died some years ago than those (more then) 5000 dying today: we put faces on them...

I still don't get this unreflected discourse on 9/11 in the US of A. Everyday and so much more. Just we can't put faces on them, we ignore those who are dying. Even worse: we can't change the past but we can change things today.

We could feed the world.

Faces! All about imagination. Imagine reality.

G.