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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years Gone

That morning, I called a coworker about an apartment in her building and she said, "Don't you know? Turn on your TV!" And that's when I saw the first tower burning. It seemed unreal; I'd watched, like every other NYer, as those were built, with a cynical eye. Over the years they'd just become part of the scenery. What the hell? Then I remembered the people, the friends and family working there or near there, and a sort of panic set in. I tried calling my brother's house but couldn't get through. I called my best friend and we watched as the second plane hit. Then I twent o work and walked in stunned uncertainty into my department. The radio was on but there was no other sound anywhere. Here and there a hushed conversation, a few sounds of crying. I worked while hearing the all-day news, hoping my people were all right, that they'd gotten away and out of the area. We barely looked at each other, trying to suck it up and not dissolve into the emotions we were all reining in.

When I got home that night the Oxygen channel had been replaced with NY1, a 24-hour news channel. I was grateful for that small miracle, and for days left it on, waking and sleeping, every moment I was home. On the Thursday I finally got a call through to NYC. It was a mixed bag. I've recited that all enough on this blog, most recently with bin Laden's death.

Here we are, those of us still alive, marking today with what?- there are the tributes, the memorials. But I think what's best is to do what we're doing here today, just what we always do. One roomie is watching something and laughing in his bedroom, another is gone doing morning salutation, one is off to work, her daughter gone to church... I've got laundry going. We'll make a big dinner together later, maybe the subject will come up, but maybe not because of the shortie. In any case, we'll carry on as we always have, do what needs doing, think of those we lost and miss. These ten years have changed us, but not that much. Not in the ways that count.


Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Good, well written post

Austan said...

Thanks, Starting.

CarrieBoo said...

Here here, Laura. I hope they rebuild there, begin to heal the gaping wounds.

Austan said...

The memorial waterfalls don't do it for me. But I don't know what would, either.

Rory Grant said...

I was in Scotland at the time. I lived in a remote area in the Highlands but had satellite television. I think I picked up on live images just about the same point you did. I was horrified. I only had the one neighbour and could see him repairing a vehicle through my window. I remember going outside and saying to him ' Angus, America is under attack ', it was all I could think of saying. I Then watched for the rest of the day in a stunned silence. I recall thinking ' the world changes now ' and of course it has, but like you say, not in the way we thought it would.