I had a friend with an apartment on Prince Street in Soho.
My last visit to NYC in the spring of 2001 was to visit him and another friend who'd moved there with her husband. She and I'd worked together at LSU.
I was also supposed to meet up with my (sorority) little sister, Tove Sundqvist. She lived in Amsterdam, but she had to be in Boston. We were going to try and get together, but ultimately it didn't work out.
Anyway, my friend John was very excited about the prospect of me moving to NYC and getting an editorial job, and he was helping me meet folks at Newsweek and Hachette.
I remember John took me to some way off-Broadway play where all the actors ended up completely naked at various points. I have no idea what the name of it was, but we met up with some of the cast at a little diner after. They kept going on about how much I looked like Drew Barrymore, and John was indignant. "She is not fat," he snapped.
That night at the diner, I just remember thinking how one of my sorority sisters used to say I looked like Drew Barrymore, and I'd never taken it as an insult.
Six months later everything changed. It was Sept. 11, and I was working at the paper in Shreveport, La. I remember standing out in the newsroom with the rest of the staff watching Matt Lauer covering the nightmare. Then I went back to my office where my phone was ringing off the hook with friends demanding to know what was going on.
I just work here, I thought.
One month after that Tove was killed in Amsterdam after being hit by a tram while she was riding her bike. I remember getting the email from her (bio) sister Jenny telling me what had happened, and I went straight to the phone and called her.
I had no idea what time it was in Sweden, but I couldn't believe it. Somebody had hacked into her email account and was playing the most un-funny joke of all time.
An hour later, as the email was being discovered by our other sisters, my phone started ringing off the hook again. What had happened? Had I talked to Jenny? But Tove just got married! She was going to have a baby! And she was always so healthy! It was surreal.
I had just gotten the thank-you card she'd sent me for her wedding present. I'd given her some of those giant bath-sheet towels we all loved so much. I remembered how one time she'd fallen in the shower at her dorm and hit her head and we all had to rush her to the ER for stitches. Jenny had been so scared, and we'd all joked about what a klutz she was. Another time she got a speeding ticket, and Jenny just knew she was going to get deported. Tove was larger than life.
I sat down and scribbled out some letter to Jenny that I couldn't even read through my blurry eyes. I wrote how I couldn't believe it. I just couldn't. I wrote about how badly I'd wanted to be at her wedding that summer, but with the move to Shreveport and all it had been impossible. And I hadn't saved enough money to fly to Amsterdam.
I mailed it without even proofreading. It probably made no sense.
Another month later, my first marriage ended...
It got better, of course, and by the end of 2002, I was surrounded by an amazing group of friends in Indy who took me in on sight and made me feel as welcome as if I'd always been here.
They still do. Those guys are amazing. Love them~
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This is a repost from when I first started blogging in 2010. It seemed appropriate today, in remembrance of Sept. 11 and in light of our relocation back to Indy. Still love those guys! It feels like a quiet day, but I'll be sending my revision back as scheduled. And I plan to be around.
Til Thursday, reader- and writer-friends~ <3