I took my lonely, ten second journey at 9:45 in the AM.
Nine years later they can still watch it burn.
On 9/11 I was living in Nassau county on Long Island just outside of NY. I was about 15 and attending an alternative school; and this is where I was on 9/11.
It was said that in you lived through Kennedy getting shot you would know where you were and what you were doing. Later, the same thing was said about 9/11. I had woken up for school to find my dad watching TV in the living room. He was in a hub-bub but he was one of those people who would have a fit if they bought wheat bread instead of whole grain. So I didn’t pay much attention to him. I had assumed the hit was an accident. If I remember correctly a small plan had hit something else somewhere not too long before that anyhow, sh*t happens. So during school we had a room of kids with one-on-one teaching, each student-teacher pair sitting around a big U shaped table. And of course the topics of the day were not about baseball. We had all been talking about it when one of the teachers brought in a television from the Av closet, only to have it demanded shut off and taken away by the administrator in charge of the setup. The moment I remember the most was of standing outside the building waiting for the school bus with the girl who drew her eyeliner on about an inch below her eye, on a remarkably hot September day. After later finding out what had happened the vision of the moment always comes back to me; to know I was standing there silently while at the same time, thousands of people were being crushed to death just a few miles away.
I had gotten home and all the TV stations were out as the antennas were on the towers, to see my dad still listening to the radio and filling in my big brother and I periodically. But the day progressed on and I left for my job at the florist at the hospital. I don’t think anyone came in from the site, I wouldn’t have seen it anyhow. I also don’t remember much of what happened that day at work. I did my job like normal filling vases and de-thorning roses. My other jobs included deliveries to the rooms in the main building just across the yard in the complex. In jest, my friends and I would go to hang out on the 23rd floor to look into the city in the past and it was only second nature to do it that day.
I don’t have a compelling story about phone calls or bodies falling. But I just remember going back up there whenever I got a chance to look over and see the plume of smoke. For weeks I could watch it burn.