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Seven Years

By this time, seven years ago, both planes had crashed into the Twin Towers. All of the airports, bridges and tunnels in the New York City area were closed.  

I'd overslept that morning and was rushing to work.  The sky was perfectly blue and it was warm.  Even though it was late, I'd stopped at the bagel place on my way into the office for a raspberry bagel with raspberry cream cheese.  When I got to the office, I sat down in my cublicle and started my morning routine and then I overheard a coworker a few cubes away say something about a plane flying into the World Trade Center.

At first, we all thought it had something to do with a movie.  The explosion wasn't real and everything would go back to normal.  I remember that no one was working.  People were scrambling to find radios, huddled around the TV in the lobby, trying desperately to get to a news website and finding them all crashed.

It wasn't until one of the towers fell that my office was evacuated.  I flew home on 78.  I remember I was doing 85 miles per hour and people were flying past me.  I moved further and further east, noticing that the sky looked strange, almost like at sunset, when streaky colored clouds stretch across the horizon.  I felt a physical jab when I realized the strange orange and brown cloud was a plume of smoke from the destroyed towers dissipating slowly over New Jersey.  I didn't know my body's own capacity to make tears.  I sobbed as I drove.  Hard. 

When I got home, people I rarely heard from, from college, were calling to make sure I didn't work in the city.  I only knew one person who did-- sewander  -- and I kept trying to call her cell number over and over.  For three days before I heard from her, I was in a panic that she was gone.  I remember being numb, watching the nonstop news and feeling like it was a movie, not reality.  

Seven years later, I have to focus on the buildings.  I cannot let myself think about the 3000 people who died, who was left behind, what their families faced, the turmoil of not knowing if they were alive but buried beneath the rubble.  I can't let myself think about it because I can't stop the tears.

I am bitter, that after seven years, there's still a big hole in the ground in New York City, that there's still a hole in the skyline to remind us of this tragedy and still no memorial to the dead either.  We've seen politicians misuse September 11 for their own agendas and there still isn't a place to visit to mourn and remember. 

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
sewander
Sep. 11th, 2008 07:03 pm (UTC)
Wow. I'm so touched. I had no idea! Or if I did, I forgot in the chaotic aftermath and grief. Thank you for your concern and your effort to get a hold of me!!!!

I'm right there with you. I wake up every day on 9/11 and I turn on the TV to make sure nothing horrible has happened, then I go about my day, just a little sad, and just a little bit more grateful that today is a "normal" day. As I told my mom once, today is the day i try to be grateful for the shitty things, for the traffic and the interruptions. For all of the nusances that make life normal and beautiful, even though we don't see it that way most of the time.

Somehow, like you, having been there that day, having lived and worked in the city, well, the memories and emotions still affect me strongly, even 7 years later to the day, as my boyfriend pointed out. I couldn't believe it. And I looked into his eyes and when I told him I felt sad, I could see he didn't understand, when I told my LA living for former born and raised NYers that I work with that "tomorrow is 9/11" and they went "oh yeah" I could see that they didn't quite understand. And it makes me feel like a ghost out here in LA, alone knowing that for so many people it has muted, but for so many it hasn't, and that I am part of a web of memory keepers.
sweetjezebel
Sep. 12th, 2008 12:30 am (UTC)
I remember you being one of my first thoughts that day as well, since I knew you lived close by & I didn't know if you worked in that area :(

How far was your office from there that you were evacuated? Or did they just evacuate the entire city?

Whoa... not to make this about something else but I was JUST about to write "and not long after our weddings were happening" and as soon as I thought it I thought holy shit, this is the first year I have NO ONE ELSE to celebrate with. I'm the last of the 10-7's. So weird. :'(
sewander
Sep. 12th, 2008 05:07 am (UTC)
if you haven't seen this I can't recommend it highly enough, it was inspring if really sad - Jon Stewart's first broadcast after it happened.

http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=105095&title=september-11,-2001
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )