It wasn't until a few moments ago that I passed the natural gas company in town and saw their flags at half mast and remembered where I was nine years ago today at just about this time. Not September 11th, but the 12th at around 1:30 a.m. In particular, I was face down on the floor of the living room in my parents' house in a "name witheld" city in Texas absolutely dry of tears and staring at the phone. You see, my husband at the time was stranded in Phoenix at the airport and trying to find a car to drive home. That was not a big deal.
Yes, there was the whole "towers" thing going on in New York...and that was a huge deal for sure, historically speaking, but not to diminish what was going on for the country and for many individuals, the real question for me was, "How big is this for me personally?"
You see, my father had been in Japan for something in excess of 160 days or so. He was supposed to catch a flight back to the states and either land in New York the morning of the 11th--to--catch a meeting with some folks at Morgan Stanley. Who just happen(ed) to be IN the towers. Yes, they do make intineraries, don't they? But the real truth is that many times a seasoned traveller used to call you from an airphone and say, "This is the flight I'm on." So really we had no idea.
I was academic dean at a private school in this same unnamed community and after the initial news hit the school, I had to deal with ferrying news back and forth to and from several students who were in the exact same predicament I was in...including a diplomatic family who came and scooped their kids up and disappeared. That was comforting. And, after a while, we were consumed with terrified kids, what to do, and closing the school, etc. After about an hour-and-a-half, a friend and the wife of our president of the board of directors showed up at my office door and very politely said, "Um, where is your dad?"
"In Japan. No. Shit!"
Using telephones at that time was about as effective as trying to throw a rock and hit someone's house two states away...so my friend very nicely volunteered to drive to my mother's and check in with/on her and then get back to me.
And now you are caught up. We heard nothing for over twelve or so hours. It was a long ass wait. I crawled in my mother's bed with her and there was some weeping. That we did it together is saying a lot. A lot a lot. That was the night I met my friend Sharon...I have three friends "Sharon," so mentioning her here doesn't necessarily require a unique name...at a prayer service at our church. She goes by Aunt Sharon to my oldest. She spoils him mercilessly and I love her dearly. Anyhow...the long ass wait...
...it ended in the early hours of the morning when dad called home to say he had missed his flight (short version is he just missed it--there was much confusion during that day and gathering of American nationals, etc. in the embassy and that kind of thing always gives dad a sour stomach, so he bailed for his apartment). And, therefore, was not anywhere near Morgan Stanley. As soon as flying was once again ok'd, he hopped right on a plane for New York and met with them in a hotel where they were using post-it notes for just about everything. He said it was spooky. And they shook his hand a lot.
We would have met him at the airport, but that was just about impossible. And his car was there anyway...so...what can you say. He's never really been accomodating with regard to welcome homes.
Several times this last week, I've wanted to kill him myself with my bare hands. We have both been under enormous amounts of pressure for...well, years now? He has a unique gift for getting under my skin--which is easy to do since I am now so conveniently located in the living room--as I'm sure I do the same for him at times. Two people so alike are bound to do so. Several things about this week--ok, one really--stank big time for me and he seemed to miss it entirely. He was torqued up about something all week (ok, the last two weeks) that went down today and I seemed to missed it entirely. Truth is, I was wound about it, too. I just had no idea what to do about it other than make sure he had a nice haircut. Really. That was my giant contribution. Short of, well, nothing, I could do no more. Killer hair, honestly, but I doubt it was noticed. Don't tell him.
In any case, "the presentation" went well today. ALL DAY. Oy. From 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Like a marathon or something. Very well. Well enough to exhale a bit. Tomorrow we may even inhale. Maybe we'll splurge and inhale twice. Dare I say we are looking at having actual investors if we decide this is the final deal to take? This would be the second and final round of investing and God only knows how very long we have been working toward this. There are always details to hash out and things no one likes, but that everyone would have to get used to, etc. I think every deal is like that.
Did anyone here celebrate? No. They never do. Family motto: never let up? I don't know.
So, Attrition and myself did it for them. We met Widowmaker, his wife, and a whole cast of other characters at Baker's Street Pub, listened to "Shinola" (seriously...that was the band's name and I did not make it up) and had a great time. I drank a beer (write that down as you know I hate the stuff) and Widow introduced us to something I believe he called a "Surfer on Acid." Coconutty. As if suntan lotion had a taste...
And later this morning I must up and do my church thing...and defend Galveston from the insurgent plague. A simple day's work.