Waking up at my parents’ home in rural Pennsylvania, coming downstairs for coffee and seeing the TV on, with a picture of one of the towers pouring out smoke. Sitting and watching the coverage in my parents’ living room. Watching the second strike. Hearing about the Pentagon. Wondering if this was the start of a war on American soil. Suddenly fearing just how large the world is.
Coming into New York City this morning for work. Idly wondering if something terrible would happen. Tasting the mild tinge of fear. Disregarding it.
Listening on the radio in the car to Gen. David Howell Petraeus talk about the war. Listening to Iraqi exiles lament the kidnapping, the torture, and the ransom their family paid. Wondering where I’d get fresh water if our plumbing stopped working.
Noticing a sticker in Penn Station stuck on a billboard that read roughly: “I blew up the Twin Towers and all I got was away with it.”
Realizing that the rest of the world keeps waiting for us to notice we’re not alone, or unique, in our suffering.