9.12.2001

it's strange

i was just there
running around houston yelling out heide's name
i was talking to tj about how beautiful the sky line was
we were discussing that if there was a disaster how manhattan would be cut off

the sky line has changed
the city was cut off
heide is okay and safe

and i am going back

i want to over come my fear. i need to see the city. i need to just look and grieve.

i han't driven past the pentagon yet.
i can't.
there are people in there that will never know when they leave.
or left this world.

i afraid of the planes that fly over head. this morning i watched in terror, rush hour traffic, near the american leagun bridge, as a lone plane flew across the sky line.

i was not the only one. it didn't veer sharply towards the city or the ground. it continued it's course across the sky and that's when it hit me.

it wasn't that the only way that we found out that roommateJon's dad was alive was by me reading it in an online article. it wasn't that you could see the billowing smoke of the pentagon from my balcony. it wasn't that i had friends in the city close to the WTC. it wasn't that people were calling and emailing me to make sure that I was okay. it wasn't any of that.

it was the site of that plane that made me so fucking scared. it made me feel so small and alone sitting there in my car. crawling aimlessly along to a pointless day of teaching. it was the site of other drivers pulling themselves forward by gripping their steering wheels and watching the same lone plane as myself.

it was the first time that i thought that this wasn't over.
and it may not be.

i live in ground 0 #2. I live only 5 miles, if that, from the Pentagon. I didn't drive past the pentagon that morning like i had wanted. I was running late so i decided to take 495 and not the scenic route of the GW Pkwy. "I'll take it on my way home..."

i don't remember driving home. i just remember listening to the radio, listening to the updates and stories and the sounds of everything happening. i don't really remember walking into my apartment. i just remember standing infront of the windows to the balcony, looking over the city. watching the smoke rise, dirty brown in the blue of the sky. it was a beautiful sky. all blue with these puffy white clouds, but the dirty smoke was covering them. i scanned the sky, watching for commercial airliners but only seeing military jets and planes and helicopters. i knew that it was a war zone out there, only 5 miles from me, but still, it wasn't real. the reports on the tv weren't true. none of this was true. this couldn't have happened. the world isn't supposed to end with commercial jets flying into sky scrapers with full tanks of high explosive gas. it wasn't supposed to end with two of the most noticable buildings in the world crumbling down to nothing, crushing those trying to save those already injured or recover those already dead. it wasn't supposed to fall on those firemen and policemen. those sworn to protect and help us were killed trying to fight against the faceless enemy who could terrorize a city and bring it, and the world, to a stand still.

and yet, even now, i cannot help but to look out the windows, scanning the sky line of DC and the skies over it. i cannot help but to watch the news, drawn to it uncontrollablly, hearing the reports surfacing of new evidence. of no new survivors. of nothing more than the rubble being relocated in hopes of find people still clining to life. there aren't any. with each passing second, each bomb scare, each thought of another building collapsing, another person slowly slips away leaving family and friends reeling in the aftermath. but honestly, i hope it isn't so. i hope that they all died instantly, without fear. i hope that those on the plane were looking out the windows at that beautiful blue sky, filling their eyes with something a bit more comforting than the site of the city approaching outside of their window. and honestly, i am glad to read stories of those who perished with their loved ones. they got to die with the love of their lives, their friends, their families surrounding. they didn't have to worry about what they would do in the next few days, months or years. they could look at them and see only them as their last sights on this earth.

and for the families that received phone calls. i jump when my phone rings, and i didn't know anyone on the planes. i cannot even imagine how helpless and small they felt. they were the worst victims. they have to live with the sound of their wives, sons, daughters, and husband in their ears. the sound of fear or uncanny courage in their voices. they have to live with the sinking feeling of "oh my god, they aren't coming back..." and not having the chance to tell them everything they were meaning to.

and meaning to?

what does this mean to the rest of us?

i called my mother last night for the first time in a long time. i want to see my mother, but it should never have taken an act such as this to make me pick up the phone and call. there is no reason why there are people in this world that i don't talk to. that i put off calling or emailing until later on. i may not have "later on." all i have is right now.

right now.

that's it. this day isn't a guarentee. tomorrow, five minutes from now, three months from now, nothing is a guarentee.

there is no reason to be in disagreement with someone. there is no reason to not try to work through things with people that i know. there is no reason why i should not be with my family. there just isn't any reason for the pettiness and the trivial matters that once held stock and support. it doesn't matter

i may not be getting on a doomed plane. i may not be working in a secured, or so thought, building away from the eye of the public on top secret information, or just a daily receptionist. i may not be in the city, looking up or trying to help and being crushed to death. there is no telling when or how or where or why. there are no answers.

there is only right now.

right now, what am i going to? how am i going to spend it? who am i going to appreciate and be with? who am i going to be truthful with and tell them how i feel? how am i going to go back and fix the things that i have the power to change?

it is my life. it is my 24 hours in this day and tomorrow. the same 24 hours that you have as you sit there reading this. it's the same minutes and seconds and hours. the same sun and moon. the same earth, but it is the way that i spend it all, that matters.

so if you are reading this, go and tell your friends that you love them. tell them that you are glad that they are there. cherish your family, they are the only ones you have. family and friends come in all shapes and sizes and nationalities. this wasn't a national boundry that was shattered. it was a human boundry. no one knows what is going to happen, but it doesn't matter. take those 24 hours and make sure that they count. that they matter. that when and if the time comes that it's your turn that you can look at the beautiful blue sky and know that your heart is calm. that you have loved. that you have been a friend, a son, a daughter, a mother, a father. that you did what you could with those 24 hours to make your life enjoyable and a pleasure to live, getting up each morning. it is your life. mold it the way that you want it to.

once that minute or second or hour passes, it's gone. it can never be relieved.

"it doesn't matter that you were loved, it only matters that you had the capcity to love"

don't burn the day way...