Sunday, September 11, 2011

What I wrote, one year later

Come and look at this, Michael said. He was sitting, ludicrously, on the children's little, yellow stepstool and spoon-feeding Sophie her breakfast. The television was on. I stood three paces away from him, baby Oliver in my arms, and watched. My hands rose of their own accord to my mouth. Everything seemed still. The towers were tiny on the television, the smoke like a child's art project: black painted circles, blue sky. Peter Jenning's face was taut, his own anxiety held tight under his skin. I stood there on the black and white floor, still, for what seemed like hours. I didn't cry, then, only thought my city, my city.

I agonized over whether to put Sophie on her school bus. Would they come to Los Angeles, the planes? Shouldn't we all be together? When the bus pulled up, Dot, the bus-driver seemed oblivious to what was happening. Her large, dark face beamed at Sophie and she swung the doors open. I put Sophie on and watched the bus pull away, regretful. An hour later, I'd go after it, Henry and Oliver in tow, and take Sophie from school, apologetic.

Michael left work for his first day with Wolfgang Puck. It seemed silly, his anxiety, a new job.

Later, still transfixed, I saw the tower fall, even before Peter Jennings, who was looking at a different monitor. When he glanced up, I told him, Look, It's fallen. The tower has fallen.

** In her inimitable style, Ms. Moon wrote words that, for me, reflect perfectly my own feelings about this day. Go here, but only if you're prepared for the unorthodox.


  1. I was sleeping in. Bubba had left for work and Eve and I were snuggled up under the covers, Lola busy growing in my belly. The phone rang and my father-in-law's voice leaped out at me so insistently. We were scheduled to fly to France on Sept. 12th. Needless to say, I spent the day with the television on and we didn't go anywhere.

  2. The memories will never leave us. Ever.

  3. I waa principal of a 1000 student high school when this happened ...cannot ever describe the emotion of making this announcement and dealing with those kids and staff at that time 10 years ago...some wounds never heal.

  4. thank you for sharing how it was where you were.

  5. My husband was on his way to work in World Trade Center 7 and looked up to see what he thought was a fire in Trade center 1 on his way to work. He saw debris falling and thought it best to walk in the opposite direction until he knew what was happening. When the second plane hit he thought it was a bomb and that we were under attack. He caught one of the last subways/trains home to CT. I was home breastfeeding my 6 mos old while my 2 year old played watching the whole thing on the Today show. He walked in the front door at 11am, the most memorable 2 hours of my life. I will always remember the mothers and young children who were not as fortunate as our family - I can only imagine their pain.

  6. I was out and about that day and got lost coming home--a drive that I can normally do with my eyes closed (well, not really). I ended up five miles in the opposite direction of where I wanted to be. Once I got home, I had the t.v. or radio or computer (sometimes all three) on almost constantly. I kept waiting to wake up from what seemed an interminably long nightmare.


  7. "Unorthodox." I love that. I love you.

  8. i was a single mother. early morning the phone rang. together we talked and watched in horror as our world forever changed. we all went out side and stood in the street. looking for a lifeline in the eyes of everyone, but the world had stopped.
    that night our neighborhood was a blanket of candles as home after home added their shrines to the tears.
    and my long distant lover who had shared witness to this mass departure on the phone with me that very morning, decided it has time to leave chicago, and become my husband.

  9. That impulse to draw our loved ones together is one of the most primal--and most pure.

  10. I just cried and cried in church this morning during the singing. I was so surprised at the ache that is still there ... and they were/are all strangers to me. Strangers and brothers and sisters all. Then in the afternoon, we just sat in the grass and played monopoly. It was nice.

  11. We could not watch any of the re-runs of the horror.

    That morning, 10 years ago, as I got our children ready for school, Gregg called and asked, "Do you have the TV on?" - a crazy question, because I never watch TV in the morning. I told him "No," and then he told me NOT to turn it on - another crazy thing to say, because what would you do? Turn it on, of course.

    We were scheduled to leave for Europe the next morning, to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary, without the children. Of course, all flights were grounded, and I thought I'd never fly again...but then, the terror plot would succeed, so we did fly again, eventually.

    My heart goes out to the families whose loved ones died, but I will not buy into the news media's manipulation of the memories.

  12. Hi Elizabeth, have just discovered you via the Freinds of Ms Moon, looking forward to reading more --

    Mary in Africa

  13. nice very impressing..

    lets join our forum

  14. thanks for the link to ms moon.



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