"I worked at a middle school at the time and later learned that one of our teachers had lost someone in the attack."
That Morning, That Whole Day
I fell asleep with the television on, but the frantic news report slowly brought me out of my dreams long before my alarm was set to do its job. The reporter was a young man who desperately controlled his fear while the people behind him scurried and ran back and forth.
Something was very wrong, but what? Then the images came, and while my day was just getting started, New York’s had already been shaken violently, every cup of coffee and smoke break so full of chance for those who happened to walk out at just the right moment that saved their lives.
At work, we kept the televisions on and wondered if our universities were going to remain open. I worked at a middle school at the time and later learned that one of our teachers had lost someone in the attack.
The day wore on with the inability to move past my own selfish desires and preoccupations. I welcomed a visitor late in the afternoon who sat and watched the news with me. When my boyfriend could not get in touch with me, he showed up to my house and pounded on the door. We waited for him to leave so there wouldn’t be a confrontation.
I remember making up some lie about why I couldn’t answer his calls or the door. I remember watching the President’s slow reaction over and over. I remember feeling like a jerk because I couldn’t fully understand why them, why not us? And if it had been us, how would we have changed as a city? Who would our heroes have been?
More than anything, I felt guilty for thinking that we were lucky that it didn’t happen here. I felt like I didn’t deserve to cry when watching the documentaries that came later, each investigating a conspiracy, but never leaving out the part that mattered most, which was the unfair loss of the lives of people who just wanted to go home.
— Marianna Tabares
Los Angeles, Calif.