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.