I had left ‘home’ and some how wound up near what they call ‘ground zero’. When I heard the sounds saw everyone running from, I ran to. I ran to as a mix of suicide and curiosity.
I ran to, and I saw others trying to help, so I tried to help. I behaved as if I were part of some special team sent to help.
And that is where I encountered Cord.
That’s not his real name. It’s the name I’ll use, because my life as it is, without my past, is too precious to risk with revelation.
I knew his name because someone called him. I held the name in my mind as if it were a candy.
Time was passing and I was working with Cord as if I’d been sent there by an agency, as he was there, sent by an agency.
Someone tossed me a helmet, gloves, a visor, I pulled them on as if expected.
There were too few of us, pulling people from wreckage, giving CPR, stopping bleeding. I didn’t really know what I was doing, I was imitating Cord. I was acting as calm and focused as Cord.
He spoke to me, tossing something about this being his ‘day off’, and I tossed something to make him believe that this was my day off as well.
He called me ‘Angel’, saying, “Hey, Angel, help me here…”
We worked for hours, rescuing, retrieving, and someone came to give us bottled water, and we paused, and drank. More people were coming to assist.
We worked, and hours and hours passed.
We kept each other’s spirits up, making those clever remarks, that hint of humour about a situation that was anything but humourous.
If we hadn’t diverted ourselves with that easy banter, we might have burst into hysteria, because it was so much worse than imagined.
I have no words to describe it. There are no words. There is only focus and keeping your spirit level. Not taking it all in, not resigning to fatigue or failure.