Though I stood up until an ungodly hour of 4:30 in the morning today, I was up almost three hours later. Since I'm not working while I'm in school yet, I have been sleeping in on days I do this until at least 11. Not today. Though I'm now in Chicago and an hour behind, I woke up around the time of the attacks in New York time, thinking about it almost instantly as I woke up.
Even before I got here, people asked me if I would move out to Chicago permanently and where am I setting up my business. First of all, how would I know if I would move somewhere for seemingly forever if I have never lived there before? Second, where else would I set up my business? So far Chicago is great in so many ways, but I am a New Yorker.
Your body knows something is wrong.
I was only 15 when the attacks happens. I was in school. I was in school in Queens. I was safe, but my body knew things were not safe. I had such a headache that day. Around that time. I wish I could say I was psychic, but it was more of knowing something was happening when it happened. Not before. I didn't really hear about it, a full confirmation until about noon or whenever my last period of English was. Guess they didn't want to scare the school as a whole. I heard something during gym, but I still wasn't feeling well and I was in my own world.
Right now I can remember sitting in gym and hearing hushed whispers, but not know the full urgency at the moment. I remember that the sun felt bright in that room.
So many people never felt the warm of the sun shining briefly in a room again. Some didn't see the sky for days.
Your body knows how loud quiet can be.
I walked home from school since transportation had virtually stopped. I knew nothing was going to happen while I walked home, but I kept looking back. When you walk on Rockaway Blvd, you have a view of the Towers when you reach a certain point if you look straight towards them while crossing the street. You never know how empty a space feels until it's no longer there. In your head, you know there are sirens and cries happening an hour away from you. You feel life slowing down or completely stopping before you reach the zone of no return also known as Lower Manhattan that day. I didn't have to switch on a TV. It was on at home anyway, but just being a sensitive wishy washy person, I felt it. I felt in the lack of buses on the road. The echo of their absence.
What's worst was that I lived near JFK. When buses are not coming to and from there because who the heck wants to or can take a plane on that day and days following, you feel their absence.
I still refuse to write about these feelings in poetry form till this day. I leave that for the more experienced, in language and in this life changing event.
Your body feels differently once this happens to you.
As I write this, I hear sirens in the distance. Do you know what sirens mean to a New Yorker on 9/11 of any year after 2001? Do you know what the city can be like? The extra security that's put in place. A certain feeling in the air. Try going to work on this day. Especially by the Freedom Tower (or One World Trade Center if you want to be official). Last year, I had to go into Jersey City since my job was relocated there due to Sandy. You don't know what sacred feels like until you are in that area. Walking to the PATH train means hearing the bells rung in memory of each heartbreaking moment. Going into Jersey City meant walking past the memorial with the names of people that were lost from the area. Riding the MTA to World Trade and Fulton Street meant seeing firefighters and officers, dressed up in their finest, going to the ceremony.
I didn't lose anyone, but I know people who have. I was safe in Queens, but I know people who were in the area that day. You think what if this turned into more. What if more planes went out? What if more buildings were hit? What if they did more?
What if on an anniversary of 9/11, something else happens somewhere else? That's why I sit here trying to calm myself down after hearing sirens. Anything could happen on this day.
It did 13 years ago.
Though it could happen tomorrow, the next day, next year. Anytime. Something like this could happen again at anytime. No one is truly safe. One of the many reason why we have to live life. It's a scary thing to exist. The point of life is questionable at best when we are faced with natural and unnatural causes of death. But we do it anyway, for whatever reason drives us the most. We live.
There are many who feel this day as strongly as I do. There are those who feel it more. Though it's hard, take a moment and do something that makes you feel alive. Do it for every single life that was taken that day. They woke up that morning, only knowing that they are waking up for another day. They lived their lives to the end. It's harder for those left behind because we can think about the what if and could have been. But we can't waste the seconds that they could have had today. We are lucky to wake up in the morning. It's okay to feel this, but remember to live.
Your body only knows the flow of currents.
It doesn't know evaporation until it is gone.