Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years Ago - September 11, 2011

Ten years ago I was out of work. By choice. Because I desperately wanted to move from Boston to New York City, so I'd set up some interviews, quit my job, and waited to see what would happen. (Rash decisions, all of them. I wanted to shake things up. I made some poor choices.) And I wanted to go with my boyfriend, so I was working things out with him so we could go. And we'd decided that if I didn't have an actual job lined up by October 2001, we'd probably just take the leap and go anyway. We'd started casually looking at apartments, at neighborhoods and places to live, figuring out our options.

Ten years ago I was in my plaid bathrobe getting ready very slowly to meet a friend for lunch in downtown Boston. I flipped on the TV to keep me company and the first plane had just hit. I thought, wow, what an idiot, flying a little plane into the World Trade Center. That has to be a mistake. A tiny plane, surely. I hope nobody was injured. And then I saw - live as it happened - the second plane hit. I will never forget seeing that. "Wait, was the second plane confused? Wait, what just happened? Wait. Wait. Wait." And I screamed. And I stared. And I sat on the couch. And then the news people said that the planes had taken off from Boston and I started crying. I called my mom and cried while I watched the towers collapse. "Oh wait, I was wrong, they didn't collapse. No. No. No, wait, they just did. Oh my god."

My boyfriend was working on something at Fenway Park and I had visions of fighter planes or attack planes or bombs or I don't know what just raining down on him. I had to call several phone lines (if I remember correctly, he didn't even have his own cell phone yet) and finally was able to reach someone who told me he was fine and he'd be home soon.

My friend sent her sister over to keep me company. I honestly don't remember HOW that worked out - she may see this and comment - but it did. And it was a lifesaver, having someone there. Just someone there. Because I thought the world was exploding.

And I kept saying, over and over, one thing.

Someday it is going to be ten years from now. Someday we are going to look back at this and it will be ten years later.

It was the only way I could get through that day. It doesn't make sense, don't try to make sense of it, it's just where my mind ran away to. The future. This isn't real. It isn't happening.

My boyfriend (now my husband) knew someone on one of the planes. My stepfather did too. I just found out another friend knew someone too.

I never moved to New York City, but I went into the city in October 2001 anyway, to visit a friend and to go to a Tori Amos concert. I will never forget how the city smelled. I will never forget the posters of the missing covering every street lamp, every bus shelter. Everywhere.

I can't believe it has been ten years. I can't believe today is here. I just can't believe any of it. Still.

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