The sky was crystal blue, just like today. It was a Tuesday (just like today.) I was doing my job, teaching people how to do things, just like today. A colleague rushed into my room and grabbed me by the shoulders. They’ve bombed the Pentagon, she said. No one knows where they will hit next, she said. Her eyes were wild. She paused a moment, then fled. I thought she must be overreacting. I turned on the TV in my room and watched without breathing the world change forever.
I heard as through a down pillow the words of the news reporter: twin towers, jetliners, accident, planned, terrorists, North Tower, South Tower, the Pentagon. The White House is being evacuated, the Sears tower is being evacuated, my senses are being evacuated. Then my eyes watched on live television as thousands of people who had things to do and lives to live and people to hold and children to raise and parents to make proud and friends to laugh with become…no more. Just…no more.
You must breathe now. (Just like today.)
Later, after the unbelieving chaos of the day smoothed itslef like a clean sheet onto an old bed (covering things that you would rather not think about) I walked out into the still-alive early Autumn weather under a perfect blue sky entirely devoid of jet trails and wondered what the next few days would hold. The world that had changed forever still looked so blue and hopeful and promising.
And still I had to remind myself to breathe (just like today).