Thursday, September 11, 2008


I woke up late today. Another nice day, with the air slightly crisp the way it gets when fall and summer are starting to wrestle over who's in charge.

As I usually do, I laid there for a few minutes orienting my mind to what day it was and what things I needed to do today. Finish a transcript, work on a rush job, do some laundry -- all the stuff of everyday life.

Then I remembered.

I remembered another morning when I awoke to radio news that seemed like an Orson Wells production.

I remember being confused as I listened to the report in my just-awake haze, then turning on the TV to see if it was real.

I remember watching one tower burning in the background as a reporter tried to make sense of a senseless situation.

I remember seeing another plane cross the sky behind him and a fireball erupting from the second tower and thinking, "Was that a replay?" then realizing it was all frighteningly, terribly real.

I remember seeing one tower fall and thinking that this must be some kind of Hollywood production because I'd been to those towers and stood on the roof of one of them and I simply could not imagine a collapse like that. And then the second tower fell and again I thought it must be a replay -- but it wasn't.

There are so many memories, not just from that day, but from the days following when my normally quiet neighborhood, where mornings are punctuated with sounds of small planes from the nearby airport, became completely, utterly still as all air traffic was grounded. Images of heroes rushing into burning buildings in both New York and Washington, of heroes rushing towards a barricaded cockpit over the skies of Pennsylvania, of people going through their everyday routines -- just like I'm doing today -- and never coming home, of people all over the nation and the world standing in shock as they learned the news.

And today, these seven years later, I still wish that the whole thing had been an Orson Wells production, some John Carpenter action movie, some bad, bad dream.

Do you remember?


PNWBookGirl said...

One of my memories for that day was my son, William at the time asking about the plane hitting the building. He'd gotten up and turned on the TV while the rest of us were getting ready. I didn't even look at the TV but thought he must have been mistaken, asked for it to be turned off without looking and hustled him out the door so as not to miss his bus to school.

I didn't even listen to the radio that day, oddly enough on my half hour drive to work. When I got there I found a sign on the door saying we were closed that day due to what happened. I then flashed on my son that morning and what he'd been trying to tell us.

I turned on the radio on the drive back and then like the rest of the nation sat on my couch and watched in horror the playing and replaying of events.

I apologized to William when he got home and explained to him what had happened. I made sure I was a better listener after that.

Sharon said...

I felt the same way when I turned on the TV, just before the plane hit the second tower. That it couldn't really be happening. Then once I understood that our country was under attack, I felt like a lot of us maybe did, that I had been naive or lulled into a false sense of safety. I'd always thought international acts of terrorism happened in other countries, not in ours. It was a real awakening to things as they actually are.