Wow. I remember it so clearly, like it happened yesterday. Probably because it was during one of the worst times of my life.
My husband had up and left me for another woman without any warning right beforehand. So every year I get to remember, revisit, redream. It sucks. But at least I will never forget.
On Sept. 11th I was at work, crying in my office, as I had done for the past few weeks. My internet alerted a flashing news story, and I watched the pictures of the first plane’s aftermath online. I had a real bad feeling. So bad that I stopped crying.
When the second plane hit, I knew it for what it was. Everybody crowded around in front of computers, watching the story unfold. One of the girls brought in a small TV to watch it on. I was starting to get scared, and wondering if I should talk to the bosses about sending people home. It seemed like everyone in Chicago had gone home. But the big boss came out of his office, and told us to shut off the TV and for everybody to get back to work. What a patriot, huh? Asshole.
I went home alone, to an empty house, scared. I was so scared I didn’t want to watch it on TV anymore. I went and sat in the back yard with the dogs, and rocked back and forth in my chair. I saw my ex drive by down the road with his new girlfriend in the car, and I had the uncharitable thought that I wished it was him in the WTC instead of some other decent person. Then the Catholic school girl guilt kicked in and I felt bad. So instead I wished it was me. That’s what the Catholic school did to me. Ha.
Anyway, I got through it. We all did. We all bucked up and became stronger for it. I got divorced a couple of weeks later, and got used to taking off my shoes in an airport. It was a sad time for us all.
By the time the one year anniversary rolled around, I was no longer sad, but mad. Mad about both things. So I wrote a poem about it. I published it on the one year anniversary, and have posted it in some form or fashion every year since. It helps remind me of where I was in that heartbreaking moment. Here it is again: