It’s eerie how much today was like that day. It was bright, beautiful and cool; just like today.
I struggled out of bed into my living room and turned on some morning news program as was my custom at the time. Every morning the same cheery cast of characters telling me banal stories that had no importance in my life. I got a cup of coffee and sat down on the futon in a daze of sleep and my usual morning “cheeriness.”
bq. Today is beautiful and now over to Sheri with the traffic report…
Nothing important. Boring. I turned off the sound on the morning news and focused on assembling my computer in the corner of my living room. I had just gotten a new freelance design job and decided I was going to go to work late in order to put my computer together and get it all running for the big job. It took me about 15 minutes and I hopped into the shower to congratulate a job well done with a good scrub.
Getting out of the shower I toweled myself off and heard a dull _thud_ that sounded like a car backfiring nearby. I looked at the television, the news people were still happily chirping soundlessly and I turned off the television. looking at the clock, I realized I was really late and got dressed and got out of the house in minutes. I had gotten as far as the subway entrance when I noticed people coming out of the subway station. One of the people leaving mentioned something about an accident. Being the pessimist I am, and needing information from _authorized personnel_ I decided to get information from the subway clerk and continued into the station.
Below ground it was pandemonium. People were asking the subway clerk, not for instructions, but for information about the plane.
It didn’t take me long to realize that this was serious. No trains. Nothing running. Go home. I walked across the street, back to my apartment, and saw a few people walking towards the Connecticut Muffin. I went back upstairs and turned on the television. These were not the people I remembered. They were not cheery, but instead looked like ghosts and flash the picture changed to the Twin Towers one had a gash along it’s side and was smoking. I turned up the volume and heard the reports now coming in about a plane hitting tower 1, then as if in replay an explosion in tower 2 and the second plane hit. Then as before, a dull _thud_ from outside.
It was at this point that I realized this was not accidental. It was terrorism and not bad flying as I had initially rationalized it. Family called me making sure I was alright, Phone calls disconnected mid call. It was all very confusing.
My girlfriend, at the time, got through and asked me to pick her up at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden where she worked. As I was on he phone the first tower fell and this time I heard it before the television showed it. It was a rolling noise like dragging a concrete block across a concrete floor. The rest of the day was a bit of a blur. I got my girlfriend. We barricaded ourselves in the apartment, I got a kitchen knife and had it at the ready fearing the poisonous cloud of gas that would soon be released by the terrorists. The poison gas never came. Nor did the terrorists. It was a panicky time.
All I can remember from the days after was what would come to be known as “the smell.” It was everywhere. You would choke from the horrible burned plastic and burning sheet-rock smell. It would change with the wind and sometimes you wouldn’t smell anything and then sometimes it would be so thick you’d smell when you got home. It went away about two months.
*Two years later I still think about it.*