September 11, 2001

This essay was first posted on September 11, 2001 on It is published in the book Everything2 Remembers September 11, 2001, which I also edited.

A lot of people have writings on the events of this day and I am no exception, so I decided to post it here also. It's just mostly an account of my thoughts and actions on that day.

I couldn't sleep last night. I went to bed at 1-ish, and awoke at 2-ish, thinking that it was time to go to work. I got up and put my contacts in and did my morning routine, only to look at the clock and realize I'd only been asleep for an hour. I felt refreshed. I wanted to stay awake. I went back to sleep anyway.

I awoke again quite a while before my alarm. I had an overpowering urge to be awake. Please let me be awake. So I stayed awake, and got ready for work (again), and Mary picked me up and we went to the bookstore together, and soon enough the news trickled in that the U.S. had undergone a catastrophic attack. I felt pretty detached from it. It didn't quite seep in.

The day wore on. The store opened. Customers talked with us of nothing else. Employees talked of almost nothing else. I was annoyed at the loss of an important clipboard. A co-worker called and told us to turn on the news. We informed her she was a bit late for that.

Day continued. I came home. Within minutes of walking in the door (but before I got online), I got a phone call. Opening sentence: "Did you hear what happened?" Yes, yes, I did. When it was established that I had, in fact, heard the news, I was invited out for Sonny's Bar-B-Q (where I will eat salad) and Putt-Putt. I accepted.

I got online. Four people IMed me and acted like they thought they would be the first to inform me of the terrible news. Yes, yes I heard. Yes, I heard well before you did. It almost seemed I knew before anything happened, given my restlessness and clinging to the waking world as if it were about to escape me. No, I am not interested in looking at footage, gawking at pictures of the carnage, or updating myself on the death toll.

More people continue to IM me with their first words discussing the news and how horrid it is. Yes, it is horrid. I don't know what else to say. Yes, I have a relative where it happened. No, I don't know if she's okay. No, I don't know how to contact her. Yes, yes, oh definitely it is horrid. Wow, can you believe it? I can.

I'm so upset by this that I'm almost beyond feeling it, like trying to imagine how far away another galaxy is and really grasp that feeling of distance. After what I wrote about death yesterday, it is unthinkable that this much more life has been lost, and it is overwhelming what I feel about everyone who's now gone for such a stupid reason. I shake when I think about their circumstantial deaths, and the fact that this is not over yet. It's such a huge horrible thing and I'm still going about my day.

Some have mistaken me for callous because I don't want to talk about it like the rest of the world (she says, as she writes about it). I don't want to discuss it. It's already taken me through all the proper emotions and they're recurring in cycles, and I'm scared and sad and sorry and worried and angry and freaked out too. But if one more person IMs me or calls me and says "OMG, can you believe what happened!!!" or "Have you heard the news?" I think I shall shit myself.

Too bad it's not even 3:30 yet and there's a lot of this to come.

Some part of my mind is still worried about whether eating at Sonny's will throw my diet off, and thinking if I eat light I'll be fine. Some part is thinking about work tomorrow, and being annoyed that I got little done. Some part is pondering writing normal, everyday things that don't have anything to do with the bombing or death or war. Some part even wonders what I'll wear tomorrow. But there is this gnawing piece of me that won't stop thinking about it, about how I am "safe and sound" while we are in a state of emergency; I continue to dwell on those people and all that lost property and the motives behind this ridiculous stunt. And I treasure my stupid, everyday life even more, cherish it.

I'm still so glad to be awake. And alive.

Any comments left here are PUBLIC. If you are not comfortable with that, mail me directly.

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Comments from others:

Mikey: This is one day that I will never forget, and I can say as well that's all I remember hearing about for a few days, I think that no American will ever forget the day the world trembled at the approach of war!!!!!

Synesthesia: That was a terrible day. I had moved to Boston from NY, started on a new job where we were touring schools, a shoe factory and a fire station where there were wasps flying around tormenting people.
Later in the day my co-workers and I sat in total shock watching the news at a restaurant, just picking at our Italian food. That was a terrible couple of weeks because I lost my grandmother that I had raised me and the skies were planeless and clear and my blood felt like lead.
But, Dir en grey was a big help releasing a lovely single that didn't make me forget about the loss and sadness, but made me feel a lot better.

Kristy: I feel like a horrible person for not remembering anything on that day, but.. I was only about 6 years old. I suppose I can use that excuse. But still, I feel like I've missed out on my OWN history- NOT that it's positive, but, I mean, my friends who are the same age as I am remember this day. Yet, it's all a huge blank to me. Ugh.

Anyways, glad you shared your story. :(