Sunday, March 09, 2008

PHANTOM EDIFICE SYNDROME by Steve Savage "King of the Beasts"


John Hathaway of Clark, NJ, a member of our Army Security Agency Kagnew Station Guard Group, recently posted photos he had taken at Ground Zero, site of the 9-11 World Trade Center Disaster.

Viewing John's Ground Zero Photos has triggered a nostalgia within me that's been buried for more than 20 years. Seeing those photos, and the noticeable absence of what had been a major part of my life for so many years, has made me realize that I'm suffering from repressed "Phantom Edifice Syndrome."

I lived in Jersey City, NJ, from Christmas Eve 1982 until August 1988. From the window of my third floor apartment, I had a direct, uninterrupted view of World Trade Center One where it majestically dominated the New York City skyline. It was also my daily destination.

Each morning I would strap on a 40 pound backpack (my office in a bag), run one and one-half miles, dodging heavy morning traffic, to the Journal Square PATH train station to enter one of the commuter-jammed trains destined for the WTC subterranean grotto, seven stories below ground level.

The moment the train doors opened, like racetrack starting gates, tens of hundreds of us would stream out onto the Lower Level to race toward the steep-inclined escalators that would carry us seven stories up to the Main Concourse that appeared to be miles above us.

A few of us who had, by then, become familiar faces to one another, would opt to run up the stairs, two and three at a time, in a daily race whose sole prize was to be First to the Top of the Stairs.

The return home, at day's end, provided a much more formidable challenge. It was easier, by far, to run up seven stories of stairs than to run down them, especially when sprinting at top speed with a 40 pound backpack affecting my center of gravity and balance.

On this run, I had no challengers; I ran alone.

The World Trade Center was, for me, my personal playground, unlike any other. The excitement, exhiliration, and euphoria of that daily challenge, during that wonderful era of my life, remains with me to this day as kinesthetic memories that are indelibly etched within the essence of my being.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Similarities of amazement abound in life........God Given of Course

You with your memories of your building and me with mine

You see, I walked many times the floors of the Murray Federal Building in OKC prior to the bombing that took it down.....
Protecting all who entered on business so they could be secure..

A Brother in Arms
Gene K