7 Years Today


I always seem to procrastinate my blogging about anything remotely personal. I just get busy thinking other thoughts, some news story catches my attention, or i just …don’t do it. It took me 6 or 7 weeks to get around to doing my Rockfest blog. I am still needing to do my Nine Inch Nails post…..hell, that was only 3 weeks ago,  I’m actually still ahead of myself on that one.

Yes, this is me thinking about nine-eleven.  I have to always stop and think because it seems absurd to me that it was seven years ago. For me, I don’t really have any heart-rending stories associated with it.  Does anyone actually NOT remember what was going on or what they were doing with some degree of clarity?

Being in the Midwest, I have no real “i knew a guy who …” I just remember I was at work. I had the radio on and I was all involved in what I was doing.  I remember it was a Wednesday. I remember that everyone that mattered in my office was flying out to a conference in Denver about noon, and then my boss was staying for a week of vacation.  I was SOOOOO excited cuz the prick was going to be gone. I was rushing around trying to finish some kind of report or something. and I remember only vaguely hearing that a plane had crashed into the WTC. Like..I thought “Damn,” but went on with my life.  It was just an …unfortunate thing that happened and I was busy.

I think that caused me to work even harder and I clearly remember looking up from what I was doing when I *thought* I heard that a plane had crashed into the second tower. This is the thing I remember with absolute clarity: Biting down on my pencil and still thinking “wow. both towers. what are odds of that happening? I wonder if that was terrorism?”  That second thought was ABSOLUTELY synched with the DJ. I was thinking that thought AS he was saying “it’s an unconfirmed report that this is a terrorist action.”

After that it sort of blurs, as these things do. I remember I suddenly did not give a rat’s ass about the report. I remember being amazed that somehow that boss had missed the whole thing.  And was mystified when he asked for the report that was not finished and started throwing a shit fit about “Did you not understand when I said I needed it for when I leave in about an hour?”  “oh. yeah. have you not been hearing the news? You aren’t going anywhere.”  There was a degree of smirky satisfaction at the look on his face.

When I look back on that day, I realize that more of the things i felt and noticed, were ripples much later.  To speak metaphorically, I have been more affected by fallout than injuries sustained at ground zero. 

On a personal level, the first time i flew after 9/11 was like in January of 2002.  Flying into Houston for my layover and seeing soldiers marching through with sub-machine guns.   Realizing that the level of freedom I had enjoyed as an American at home, something that I had never thought about or even reallly noticed, was now gone.  At the time, I wore a tongue barbell. Being subjected to everything but a strip search because a little piece of stainless steel in my mouth set off an *alarm*.

Less specific to just me, I realized that we had become a victim. Yes, I know, Pearl Harbor, but that was 30 years before I was born, I have always thought of Pearl Harbor as basically a miltary installation, and it was just….removed from me. It was in Hawaii, for God’s sake.  Suddenly,  we were not AMERICA, the country that sends the planes of food, the rescue crews, etc.  We were the ones needing the assistance.

Now that it has been seven years, I don’t think about it every day.  I remember in the immediate aftermath getting so annoyed because it appeared no one could speak of anything else.  But as with everything, that does die down.  Now, I often go weeks without that day even crossing my mind. When it does, though, the single thing I am most sure of: I have never felt the exact same about …life since i did on September 10, 2001.

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~ by Layla on September 11, 2008.

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