{ missing pieces }


The people who call me are calmer today.

They say things like "desperately," but they sound more determined, less frantic, like they've eaten and slept, maybe turned off the TV for awhile.

I work in a non-medical capacity at an uptown hospital. What has and will affect me most – maybe not acutely but chronically, to use medical terms – isn't so much the near-to-screaming horror I felt when I watched the first of the towers collapse on live TV, five minutes after walking in from a blissfully ignorant commute I will always look back on with fondness and longing. It's these calls. It's the helplessness and utter inadequacy I feel when I transfer them to the person with the list – the person I know probably won't be able to help them either.

"I've called every other hospital."

What can I say to them? I just try as much as I can to sound kind, sound compassionate, sound calm, and let them hope just a few seconds more.

Magdalen Powers

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