My perspective on 9/11 isn’t a particularly interesting or important one to take note of. That’s why I’m writing this more as a journal entry for myself. My memory is rapidly decaying and before they escape me, I wanted to spew out some shreds of whatever I can dredge up.
I was living in a rat hole apartment in Somerville, Ma with my buddy/bandmate Tim. I got up at about 840 EST and prepared for a long, exhausting day of landscaping. We usually didn’t watch much tv before work since it was more of a roll directly from bed into car and show up 15 minutes late kind of daily ritual. But, we randomly had the news on that morning(we only had rabbit ear selection of public channels) and while I was preparing my cereal, they broke into a commercial with an image of one of the twin towers on fire. My first reaction wasn’t much of anything. The news guessed that a little cessna plane had a mechanical failure and crashed into it. It struck me as strange that a plane could have hit the building in broad daylight. You don’t really need radar to avoid the towers. My second thought was how difficult it was going to be to put out that kind of fire. It never really occurred to me that this could be deliberate.
When the second plane hit, it was live on televison. And it was insanely confusing. It just didn’t register as real. It took me about as long as it took the newscasters to realize this was real, deliberate, and fucking terrifying.
I grew up in Fairfield CT, about 45 mins from NYC and on a clear day, you could see the towers from the beach across Long Island Sound. These towers were more than just icons, they were very real to me. As were the people in them. My father is an organizational psychologist and working in and around the financial district in manhattan during my entire childhood.
As soon as the reality of the second impact sunk in, I frantically tried to call my dad on my tiny piece of shit cell phone. “All circuits are busy” is not what you want to hear in this moment of panic.
Over the next hour and a half I was glued to that television. The jumpers, the people waving towels and sheets climbing out windows, the pentagon, the media speculation of a nuclear bomb left in Boston by the terrorists since they departed from Logan… It was all too much.
The most indelible moment was the first tower collapsing. It felt like my guts collapsed with it. All I could say was “holy fucking shit” and “what the fuck” basically over and over. I really couldn’t process most of the mornings events anyway, but I don’t think anyone thought of a full disaster movie style collapse as a legitimate possibility. I was pacing around trying to call anyone and everyone.
Finally, I got a hold of my parents. Then, my friends. I went to pick up my buddy Aaron and we debated heading north and just getting the fuck out of the city. The rest of the day is a blur of me just feeling so sick and angry. Like I kept getting the wind knocked out of me.
I wish this day wasn’t a part of my reality. But, my heart really breaks for those closest to the disaster. I can barely hear their stories without wanting to bawl my eyes out. And all of this happened in the name of, what? Greed and religion, of course.