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?