Still a little broken.

  • I have glanced around the blogosphere this morning, and I am struck by the number of people who aren’t writing about 9/11 today. I mean, it makes sense, really. We’re five years on, and people have talked it out over and over until, I’m sure, they’re exhausted. But for some of us who were there, or very close, the wound is still raw. I honestly thought it might just be me, until I talked to a woman at a party this weekend. She worked for FOX News in Manhattan when the attacks took place, and we shared stories of panicking at mysterious smells in our office buildings and feeling earthquakes that aren’t there.
  • Since 9/11, I’ve developed asthma and an intermittent burning sensation in my chest that worsens with stress. Yes, the latter has been checked by a doctor, and no, they couldn’t find anything wrong with me. Of course, I also moved to Los Angeles in the intervening period, so who knows which of the two events had more to do with it.
  • I am officially sick and tired of the “terrorists hate freedom” rhetoric. That’s ridiculous. Regardless of how one feels about their actions, Islamist terrorists hate U.S. foreign policy. It is insulting our intelligence to pretend otherwise.
  • I find it strange that my clearest memory of 9/11 and the following days is this: I walked out of my Brooklyn building into the clear morning, looked up into the brilliant blue sky, and thought, “What a beautiful day.” Then, on the other side of my parking lot, I saw a woman from the telephone company standing by her truck and crying hysterically. Her radio was turned up loud. I was so concerned for her that I didn’t process what the radio was saying. When I ran over and asked what was wrong, she just pointed behind me. I turned around and saw the sky filling with smoke. I have many (awful) memories of the following minutes, hours, and days, but nothing is so vivid as that first moment.
  • Damn, I’m weepy today.
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12 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Mom said,

    Been thinking about you all day.

  2. 2

    It’s a hard day for everyone. I hate being hammered at every turn by it- the images and sounds of that day.

    I’m weepy too. Want some chocolate?

  3. 3

    MonkeyGurrl said,

    I took a big sleeping pill and went to bed early last nite – nothing on but 9/11 movies. I tried reading, but the article I’m on is about 9/11 conspiracy theories and those that love them.

    It’s too raw for me, and I was out here. I can’t even pretend to imagine what it must be like for you.

    {{ether smootchies}}

  4. 4

    Gwen said,

    I’ll be writing about it later today. Afsheen and I have been talking about it a lot lately — I moved here just eight months after and I felt a huge disconnect between my experiences and those of the people I met here. For nearly a year, my closest friend was a girl who had been in New York in 2001. We felt like nobody else understood.

  5. 5

    Annika said,

    Some people write about it because it hurts. Some people don’t write about it because it hurts.

  6. 6

    MonkeyGurrl said,

    Oh, and not that it’s any consolation, but I found once I moved up here (from Washington, DC by way of San Diego), I also developed severe allergies, sinus headaches and MIGRAINES.

    Of course, it could be due to my increased age…

  7. 7

    Laurie Ann said,

    I cried all weekend–from Thursday night’s Primetime special about the babies born afterward whose fathers died that day to yesterday’s CBS special. I’m kind of drained.
    I’m also find it interesting that so much attention is given to the Twin Towers and yet the Pentagon is an afterthought. True, many fewer lives were lost, but they were lost all the same. I understand, given the horrific nature of two such structures being reduced to nothing–a thing unimaginable until that day–and the sheer number of deaths, but I feel for the families of the Pentagon victims because there doesn’t seem to be as much attention focused on their losses.

  8. 8

    elsewhere said,

    I’m teaching in a remote-ish area so time and space have taken on a new meaning.

    I felt more horrified by Katrina when I went through America than the remains of the WTC. Perhaps the passage of time has something to do with it. Fresh disasters, fresh emergenices.

    Really, I don’t want to think about 9/11 because it happened during a time in my life that wasn’t so great and it was one of the things that sent my brother (then living in NY) round the twist.

  9. 9

    nora said,

    love u…

  10. 10

    I’m sorry. The image of you turning around and seeing the smoke is haunting.

  11. 11

    Writer2 said,

    Spent yesterday flying to and fro Chicago. Have flown hundreds of times since 9/11 and other than the first day back to flying a week afterwards, I hadn’t given it much thought. But yesterday morning, 5:30 a.m., lining up at an East Coast airport and I thought it had the feel of one of those many documentaries I’d been watching lately.

    The waiting, the ticket shuffle, the security check, the nervous glances, the sense of this cup of coffee being more fateful than the others. Folks were very quiet, unusually so. When I got to Chicago I lingered for 15 minutes in the terminal rather than scoot outside to my waiting ride because I wanted to be there at 7:48 CST when they did the moment of silence. Even at the Starbucks line I was on, everything halted, including the barrista.

  12. 12

    A said,

    I remember that day vividly for a number of reasons, among them: sb being on the T that morning & being unable to reach her for hours; Dr. A being at a site directly under the glide path into NYC; having dozens of bewildered, frightened kiddos in my room all day wanting to know what was going on while my assistant and I tried to be the calm authority figures without any real information or solace to give them. etc. etc.

    I still have a copy of the email you sent describing parts of your experiences: that passage about trying to scrub off the scent of death stills haunts.

    I decided not to blog about the politics, rhetoric, stupidity, etc. since then – for me, it seems pointless and futile just now.

    I did blog briefly about a college classmate who worked for Cantor Fitzgerald…For me, keeping his memory alive, outside the context of 9/11, has meaning.


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