9/11/08

Where I was.

I was lying in my bed in Albany (California, not New York), slowly waking up on a Tuesday. I heard the phone ring. Several times. I ignored it. My then-fiance CG and I... consorted... and then got dressed for our days, me for a dance class in San Francisco, he for work in his graduate student lab. I was running late for my class and hastily checked the phone messages, all from my mom in New Jersey telling me to turn on the TV and watch the news, that something terrible had happened. We flicked it on as we gobbled our cereal standing up, dumbfounded and uncomprehending as towers burned on the screen.

I was late.

I got in my car and drove to class.

On EMPTY freeways.

I shared the Bay Bridge, normally full with almost waning rush hour craziness at 9 am, with TWO other cars. What was really happening here? I turned on NPR and heard the newscasters' familiar voices talking about "the tragedy in New York and Washington".

THE WHAT? I was so confused.

I drove to class.

At class, there were 10 of us either too clueless to understand what had just happened or running so late they didn't even turn on the radio, not nearly the usual 40 or so dancers jockeying for position. The teacher, my favorite teacher, announced that we should not let the terrorists win by stopping our usual routines. So we had class.

We danced.

Afterward, I sat in my car and called all my clients. No one wanted a massage or Pilates session that day. My rehearsal was canceled. I was in the city and too freaked to cross the bridge to go home. I called a friend who lived nearby and we camped out in her living room all day, watching images of towers burning, towers falling.

People falling.

It was many days before life felt normal again.

It will be many years before September 11th feels like just another day.

2 comments:

Astarte said...

I don't think I will ever be able to think of September 11th as a normal day, particularly since it's CALLED 'September 11th' regularly, and not Terrorist Day. I mean, I know it's been christened Patriot Day, but that doesn't seem to have caught on. Plus, I was about 10mi from the Pentagon on that morning, and saw the smoke. Nope, it will never be Just A Day.

Miyoko said...

for some bizarre reason we set the alarm clock wrong that day and woke up very very early in California. We woke to the clock radio with reports of the first plane. Dazed and dumbfounded we turned on the news to watch the rest as it happened. Being from the NYC burbs this was a very very very horrible day for me. A day of being on the phone all day trying to find friends and family. Still can't really believe it happened but am reminded every time I drink coffee from my pre sept 11 NYC skyline coffee mug.

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