Weirdest Day of My Life

7 Jul

When the bombs went off on July 7th, 2005, I was 20 years old and working at the London Eye as a VIP Hospitality Executive (I provided the “ultimate VIP experience” to famous people, stag parties, marriage proposals etc…).

I remember that we received word of what happened before the public did because we were a possible target. I remember being ready to make a run for it, but we weren’t allowed to leave. I had two jobs that morning–the first was, as instructed by MI5, to tell the people in the area that we were shutting down for the day due to technical difficulties (I didn’t lie to anyone). Then, I was told to search the bathroom for anything suspicious while we waited for the sniffer dogs to arrive. I had no idea what I was doing, but I searched around and tried to look important.

When we were released, I walked out of the building and saw tons of people pouring into the streets. A hot guy I worked with offered to take me home. His car was parked a couple of miles away, so I took off my heels, he took my hand and we walked.

I remember feeling like a little kid that day. I remember feeling confused by the blank look on people’s faces even though they were all probably just as confused and scared as I was. I remember my co-worker having to pull me away when I looked down the street and saw debris from that fucking bus and the blood on the wall.

Days later, I remember seeing posters for missing persons.

On July 9th, we were back at work. I remember reading an interview with a woman who said when she got off the bus, she saw “a pile of bodies in the back.” It made me sick to my stomach.

We all read stories like that in the news and we look it over. We have to, you know? We can’t emotionally connect to every terrible thing that happens. It’s weird. I just think it’s a really weird thing we do as fragile humans.

20 Responses to “Weirdest Day of My Life”

  1. crubin July 7, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

    What a horrible tragedy. Must have been a life-altering series of days, indeed.


  2. sweetmother July 7, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    I was living in downtown New York on September 11th. Watched the second building fall from my rooftop with a mix of both confusion and horror. Watched people WALK into my neighborhood from the financial district covered in sheetrock dust and stunned to near catatonia. Then lived in a near police state for weeks, where I had to show my ID just to get to my apt below 14th street. I will never forget it, nor wipe it from my brain. So, I feel you. I truly do. Much love, Mother


    • Madame Weebles July 7, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

      Same story here, SM.


      • La La July 7, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

        It’s funny, before I posted this I thought how no one who reads this thing would really “get” it. I was wrong and I’m sorry you both were there that day.


      • sweetmother July 7, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

        permanent mind tattoo, that’s all i can say… much love, you two, much love. sm


    • La La July 7, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

      Wow, that’s just crazy. It’s crazy!


  3. Madame Weebles July 7, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

    It must have been even weirder not even being in your home country for this, La La. This stuff is bad enough when you’re home. But you’re right, you have to detach somehow—if you felt everything that happened, you’d be dead from the overwhelm.


    • La La July 7, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

      Exactly, and it was so interesting to see the different ways our cultures handle these types of situations.


  4. Christopher De Voss July 7, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

    That’s scary. I was working at one of the top ten hit list places on Sept 11. We had to do the “brave” search thing for anything suspicious before we went home as well. It was so surreal. Nothing happened to us, but I’ll never forget some people just up and leaving…not caring for the safety of everyone. It really changed my outlook forever on the people I worked with.


    • La La July 7, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

      I can’t believe people would just leave. Knowing where you were, that must have been a nervous couple of days.


  5. Frivolous Monsters July 7, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

    Wow, I didn’t know you used to live over here. Coincidentally I passed through London (on one of the few occasions in my life) the day before and heard some American tourist on the tube asking her British friend why there were no bins, to be told by it was for terrorism reasons… This was when we thought we had a handle on terrorism… I got back, up north, on the penultimate train out and waking up the next day was a very odd experience to see it all unravel on rolling TV and knowing I’d just missed it.


    • La La July 7, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

      I lived there for a year, FM, and had some of the best experiences of my life. I know I asked about the “trash cans” when I first arrived.

      That must have been a really weird feeling, I’m glad you weren’t around for it.


  6. Elliot July 7, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

    I was working for a power company on that day, and I knew guys who followed the market. The first explosion got reported as a power surge within a minute and the market prices shot up. For this to happen at the time it did, we knew something was going on. Of course it got a lot worse as the details came out. I knew people who worked in London so there was a period of checking if everyone was ok, which fortunately all those I knew were. But it affected a lot, especially those living in London or the surrounding areas. The next time I went on the tube, which was only a few days later was certainly weird, with everyone checking everyone else out.


    • La La July 7, 2012 at 2:23 pm #

      That’s so interesting and yes, being on the tube or on a bus was so strange–we all looked around cautiously for suspicious people. What an odd couple of months.


  7. pivoine68 July 7, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

    I was in France on September 11 and during the London bombings as well so I didn’t really experience those events in a first-hand way. What I did experience once when I was about 18 was, I was waiting tables in a 50’s soda fountain place in a drug store with a big window looking out onto a busy street in Denver. (granted, much less cosmopolitan setting, but…). It was a busy morning, I was serving coffee and mingling with customers while looking outside. All of the sudden, this haggard looking street person stumbles out into the middle of the street. A car drives by and doesn’t really hit him head-on but grazes him and he falls down, the ambulance comes….I was shaking. There was a moment of silent awe and then immediately, people were asking for more coffee, another bran muffin. Life goes on I guess. It was shocking to me how rapidly it starts going on in the aftermath.

    Bisous La La,


  8. gingerfightback July 8, 2012 at 6:49 am #

    That day is burned into my me.


  9. Kourtney Heintz July 8, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

    I can still remember every second of 9/11 in Manhattan. It was years before I could talk about it without all the emotions swarming and shredding my voice. I think disengaging is how the mind protects itself. There is just so much horror we can witness and experience first hand.


  10. Andrew July 8, 2012 at 6:39 pm #

    I’ve never had to experience this. But I can only imagine how strange, unreal, and sad it could be. Blood on the wall? How do you even process that?


  11. Maggie O'C July 10, 2012 at 3:22 pm #

    I’m sorry LaLa and I’m not because, witnesses need to remind us of what that was like. I will never forget every second of the morning of September 11 but I was 3000 miles away. I have been to ground zero and seen the burn marks on the buildings and the Deutsche Bank building when it was all wrapped in plastic but I wasn’t there.

    Thank you for sharing.


  12. David Stewart July 12, 2012 at 9:32 am #

    Those sorts of events are like a dividing line in your life, they change your outlook so much. I wasn’t in New York on Sept. 11, but I was only a few hours away from that and the flight that went down in Pennsylvania. I guess that’s why it had more impact on me than the London bombings. Still, those sorts of things are so surreal, it’s like being in a dream.


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