09.11.03 On the morning of September 11, 2001, I woke up to a sore throat. It felt so raw that I pulled the covers over my head and hit the snooze button. I was considering calling in sick, but felt too guilty and decided a few more precious moments of sleep would have to suffice. I kept hitting the snooze. I was so reluctant to get out of bed, that the dude got up, showered and changed before I lifted my head off the pillow. This never happens.
Finally, I forced myself out of bed and into the shower. As always, I turned on my friendly Tazmanian Devil shower radio to 680 news to get caught up and prepare myself for the day ahead. As I am towelling off, the regular news stream is suddenly interrupted by a report from CNN. A plane is off course and heading straight towards New York's world trade center. The plane smashes into the building. Reporters are speculating, there may have been a problem with the airplane's internal flight/communications systems. I am in disbelief. I drop everything and run out to tell the dude what I just heard.
I'm thinking, "this is no accident! No one would fly directly into a tower, no matter what kind of technical problems they are experiencing. " I am shaken, but quickly throw on some clothes and get ready to go into work.
Upstairs, the dude has turned on the TV. He gets to CNN just in time to see the second plane hit the other tower. We are both freaking out. It was like a terrifying music video - all stillness except for the movement and sounds coming from CNN. We stood there frozen for several minutes.
Not sure how to react, we eventually shut off the TV and make our way to the front door. We kiss goodbye. He heads to the subway and I climb into my car and flick on the radio in hopes of hearing an explanation.
Running late, I call into work and leave my boss a rambling message. "Hi Karen, I am running late.. not sure if you've heard what is going on. Two planes have crashed into the world trade center towers. Turn on the TV, radio or check the web. I'll be there soon, I guess." I was supposed to be interviewing candidates for a new position later that day.
Shaken, I drive cautiously with my radio at full volume, I finally pull into the parking lot. When I enter the building, groups of people are huddled around the various TV sets that adorn our halls - I work at a music label, so we have MuchMusic on 24/7 (at least we did until the recent blackout.)
We spend the rest of the day trying to absorb what has happened. We worry about our colleagues at head office in New York. I think of my good friend Jen who was working on her PHd at Columbia during that time. I hope she is ok. I try to leave her a voice mail, hoping that will comfort me. (Thankfully, she was fine.)
Working in new media, we keep hitting up CNN.com but realize that we won't be getting through anytime soon. I started checking weblogs. I start theorizing. I have to admit, I thought for sure it must be the work of Saddam Hussein. I am embarrassed to say I shared these thoughts out loud based purely on conjecture.
It was a horrible ugly day for everyone and I know I am not alone in realizing that it changed my life. It's amazing what a false sense of security the magic middle class bubble creates. Unfortunately, as I have learned repeatedly in the past few years, life is too short and we need to give love everyday and hope for peace.