Thursday, September 11, 2003

"Something bad is happening," I said to him. The morning was so typical. I got up, went outside to get the paper, put his coffee on. The computer had been turned on and I sat down with a bowl of cereal and when AOL came up I glanced at the opening screen. "Two planes hit World Trade Center." What? I step into the living room and turn the tv on. Up comes NBC or ABC, and the world becomes a nightmare. The buildings burn and then a newsflash, the Pentagon has been hit. I get up to tell him. "Something bad is happening."

He was always groggy in the morning, and I never woke him if I could avoid it. He had to have known it was serious. He followed me to the television and we watched. Watched. He had been in New York City the previous week at the US Open. I have pictures of me standing at the top of the north tower. It seemed impossible that this could be happening. And suddenly the tower fell. "How can anyone be so evil!" I screamed. "There must be thousands of people in there!" I wept. He called New York, to check on his friends. Somehow the phone works, they are safe, the one woman had left a job there the week before. As he smoked outside the second tower fell. I cried out. It was unbelievable.

I was staying home that day, looking at artifacts, taking people on a site tour. The television stayed on. PBS was carrying the BBC and the BBC showed things the other channels avoided. After watching a pair of people falling, I turned the television off.

Late in the afternoon I reached Les. His boyfriend once worked at Windows on the Worlds in the wine department and some of his coworkers died that day. My friend Pat's sister-in-law was in the section of the Pentagon that was hit, but escaped unharmed. I was depressed for weeks and the horrible "Hurry, hurry" dreams dogged me for months.

Two years later I still have that dream occasionally. I hate that George Bush has used the event for political gain. I hate that we brought September 11th to thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians in this uncalled-for war. I wish I could go back in time and save all of those people.

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