I answer a call from the Wall Street Journal. The reporter says John might be “among the injured.” I pack a bag with John’s New Yorker and Sports Illustrated magazines, mindlessly grab random articles of our clothing, and ready myself to go to area hospitals. I might make it before the gathering crowds block the doors. But first I call hospital staff at Anne Arundel Medical Center, then at the University of Maryland trauma center. Both tell me he is not there.
More texts ask if I saw the interviews with people who were telling Anderson Cooper the names of the dead. This clip is not on the CNN website.
I call the family information hotline. A new voice says no information is available. He takes my number and promises to call.
After seven hours of waiting, I answer another strange number. Several of John’s co-workers can be heard on the line. There is wailing: painful, wounded wailing. One voice chokes out the words: “He’s dead.” The wailing gets louder. It is my wailing.