I vividly recall seeing one of the towers collapse live on CNN this day in 2001. I remember sinking to my knees in shock and horror.
“I can’t believe what just happened,” I said.
My daughter came up behind me. “What’s wrong, Mommy?”
My hand was over my mouth. I told her the truth: “A lot of people just died.”
I’m not a native of New York City. I can’t imagine what someone who lives in the city—who had a loved one die or was running from debris or just watching terrified from the periphery—felt that day or how they’ve managed to cope in the aftermath. I guess most of them did what we all have to when life tuns out harsher than we could’ve dreamed: develop a thicker skin and try to move on.
Even though I’m not a native of NYC, I am a New York state resident. I remember the most ominous looking sky the day after the attacks, with positively stark, gray, fat clouds rolling overhead. I remember thinking they were overfilled with remnants of the terrible day-pieces of city and other people’s lives descending on my hometown like a traveling cemetery, demanding that all of us pay our respects. They affected me, those clouds and the unnatural storm that preceded them. They made me anxious, and they made me hear the ticking of the clock more loudly than ever before. I began taking my dreams a lot more seriously. I looked at the faded fortune cookie slip I’d kept for years, the one that said, You are a lover of words. Someday you will write a book, and I thought, “Someday is now.” [Read more…]