I hate to even think about this day. I hate that it happened. I hate that one of my best friends lost her lifelong best friend that day. I hate the war after it. I hate the policies enacted that are now being used against Americans. I hate everything that day caused. The loss of lives, the loss of freedoms, the loss of common sense.
I wasn’t living in NY at the time of 9/11. It happened after I’d moved down south. I felt guilty about not being in NY when it happened. Most of my family was still here and I was so scared and nervous. It felt like I should’ve been here with my people. Instead of somewhere physically untouched.
My boyfriend at the time, for the dumbest of reasons, felt indifferent about the attacks. I won’t go into the depth of his insensitivity and active ignorance, but he didn’t get it on a few levels. Not until I told him that I’d lost a friend, and that she was black. Then it resonated with him.
I encountered a few people that felt similarly to him. As well as, many who didn’t take it as an attack on their country. They took at as an attack on NY and DC. I guess part of people’s coping mechanism was to distance themselves from the attack. Being down south may have given them a sense of separation that allowed them to ignore the gravity of the situation. It frustrated me having to deal with their attitudes.
I went to work that day. I shouldn’t have because I was in a daze. I couldn’t believe what I’d seen on the tube. It couldn’t be happening. I was concerned about a family member who I thought may have been near ground zero. My mind was all over the place with worry and disbelief and more worry. I was not in the right mind to work. I asked my immediate supervisor, Mary H. to allow me to go home. She said that going home wouldn’t help the situation, so there was no need for me to leave. About thirty minutes later, after seeing me crying at my desk, the manager of the entire facility suggested on his own (without knowing about my conversation with Mary) that I go home. I never looked at her the same again.
For the most part however, people were extremely upset. Many of my co-workers were devastated. I remember one crying like she’d lost family. She was inconsolable. Some were angry. I worked customer service for a major wireless company. We got calls from people all over the country. Most were scared and confused.
I took a Greyhound to NY about a week later. The dust from the towers was visible from New Jersey. We all stared out of the windows amazed. This shit really happened! There’s always a difference between seeing something on TV, then stepping into it in real life. Like a shock to the system. It was a steady, moving greyish cloud of debris that looked almost surreal against the bright blue sky. It looked like a movie production come to life.
I can’t describe the smell. I’ve tried to block it out, so it may be more that I don’t want to describe it. But what I do want to describe are the firemen that I met from California. I took pictures with them but my bum camera didn’t flash. This was before cell phones took pictures. They were awesome. I spoke with some of them, and their attitudes and sentiments were like nothing I’d ever heard. If I didn’t already love firemen I would have after talking to them. All the emergency workers who traveled so far to help. It was some heart healing to help mend the heart break of the inhumanity of the attacks. I want to send blessings and thanks to every person who stepped in to help in NY and DC.
There are people around the world who see images like 9/11 every day. It’s part of their life. Humans can do so much better than this. It’s disgusting that we’ve chosen as species to terrorize each other. We are supposed to be above other animals but I fail to see where that’s consistently true. It’s like using our brains is optional. Basic animal nature is what drives us more than anything else. Why are people so hell bent on controlling other people? Just let people live. If people have problems with each other, then just those people should be involved in the fighting. Leave the rest of the citizens of the world out of it. Most of us just want to live in our peace.
Rest in peace to all of those who lost their lives thirteen years ago today, before that day, and after that day, to acts of terrorism.