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Thursday, July 07, 2005

today and history

i went about my usual morning routine -- dilly-dallying as usual. when it finally got down to the wire and i had to leave, i flipped on the radio for izzy. as i walked over to get my stuff, i heard a woman in england talking about something that happened on the subway (or "tube") in london. "smoke" "explosion" i wasn't sure what it was about,so i flipped on the net and checked the times. apparently, there were a series of blasts in london on various subways and buses.

this experience brought to mind a morning in september 2001 when i was doing about the same thing... slowly making my way through my morning routine when mil flipped from cartoons to regis and kelly. instead of the usual inane banter, the news was on, and there was a picture of some building with smoke billowing out of it. i remarked, "that kinda looks like the trade center." given that we'd just moved into an apartment with a beautiful downtown view that included the WTC, i figured i'd take a look to check. sure enough one of the towers was emitting a huge plume of smoke. i said to mil, "i hope that's not the tower that my dad's friend works in because that could definitely be his floor." (i had interviewed a couple of weeks back with one of my dad's friends who was looking for someone to sell retail space on the concourse and i was seeking a way out of my theatre job. i was pretty sure he worked on the 86th floor.)

i sat down to hear more about what had happened. sounded like some cessna had accidentally flown into the building (odd). just as i sat down though, mil yelled out. i jumped up just as a massive explosion ripped through the second tower. even sixty blocks away it was huge. that moment on was a blur of grabbing izzy, waking up my brother (who lived a few floors above us), and finding my parents. i was convinced that more planes would start falling out of the sky and aiming for any tall building in sight. i went from normal morning to most frightening day of my life in a matter of minutes. i think that was the most scary thing of all. in real life there's no foreshadowing or musical build-up -- sh*t just happens.

anyway, i know it's not a happy topic, and mine was far from the worst experience that day. i was just reminded of the randomness of it all. when i think of it, i realize why new yorkers were almost all whole-heartedly against the war. we all understood and knew what it felt like to be an innocent bystander. we knew what it was like not knowing where the next explosion would come from or who it would hit. we knew what it was like to search for friends and relatives, not knowing whether they'd survived.

terrorists don't have a monopoly on terror.

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