Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Six Years Ago ...

There's nothing to say, really.

That day, I was on the phone with my life coach (I had a very short relationship with a life coach) so I didn't see the news.

I hung up the phone and checked for messages. I had two.

Already?

The first one was my mom, asking me where my cousins worked in relation to the World Trade Center. I thought that was weird, but I jotted it down on a Post-It Note: 8:16 Mom World Trade Center

The next message was L.A. Dave, saying, "Oh my God, turn on your television."

So I turned on my television as I was calling my mom and when she answered the phone, I said, "What's going on?" not understanding what I was seeing on my TV.

"Planes have flown into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon," she said. "Our country is under attack."

(Writing those words, I am transported back to that morning. Tears are streaming down my cheeks again.)

I didn't stay on the phone with her for long. Then I called L.A. Dave. We watched CNN together, barely speaking. When we did speak, our voices were full of tears.

I switched over to ABC and watched Peter Jennings marshall the nation through the confusion. I had always loved him as a newsman but he became a hero to me that day, a day that would come to redefine the word "hero" in so many ways.

Mom called to see if I wanted to go get a hot dog with her and my niece. I did. I wasn't hungry so much as I needed to pull myself away from the TV.

So the three of us went for hot dogs, to Madalyn, the hot dog lady, and we sat on some nearby steps and tried to have a normal day.

My niece was the one who broke our intentional silence.

"That man thought the building was the sky and he flew into it." She was 4, then.

I tried not to cry.

I was so grateful that she didn't understand what had happened, that her little life was still somewhat pure, that the enormity of the evil that had transpired that morning couldn't cloud her little head.

And six years later, it all still seems somewhat unreal.

That day, six years ago, I stuck the Post-It Note to my office wall. It's still there, in exactly the same place. The sun has faded the ink over time. I have to look very closely but I can still make out the words.

2 Comments:

Blogger Mercurie said...

I remember six years ago. I was at home and I turned on the TV. My brother (then in Texas) called. And later I would call a friend who lived in New York. I remember I did not go into work that day. Even now, it seems as it could not have possibly happened.

9:24 PM  
Anonymous Mikeachim said...

Those of us not in the US who only saw it on TV, it'll always be a bit unreal, I think.

After all, the movies dish up 10 times more pyrotechnic mayhem every week.

At the time, the part of my brain not connected to my suddenly weak knees was thinking "wow - amazing special effects". I find that quite sickening, really.

3:22 PM  

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