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12:17 p.m. - 2001-09-12


Since the question "Where were you on September 11,2001?" will no doubtedly become a question that will be asked for many decades to come, I guess I may as well document my story so that when old age hits, I can refer Andy and his future children to this url.

I was getting ready for work, having just stepped out of the shower, when I saw the World Trade Center smoking on TV.

Brushing my hair, I sat down and watched the news footage. The first thing I thought was "My God. Some idiot accidently flew into the Trade Center."

Judging from the smoke, I thought that this stupid little accident would probably kill upwards of 20 people.

As I watched "The Today Show", I heard some lady on a phone scream "Here comes another one!" and watched as this second plane hit it.

The first thing going on in my mind is not terrorism. It's that some poor sap who must have recently started his job at the New York Air Traffic Control Center just got canned.

Because terrorism just wasn't even imaginable.

Not in America.

So then they start talking about terrorism. I held steadfast to my belief that these were two accidents. Two eerily similar accidents. But accidents just the same.

I checked the time and realized I was running late. I threw on my clothes, jumped in the car and pulled out of the driveway.

I checked my rearview mirror. Crap. I had forgotten to do anything with my hair. It was starting to dry and was sticking straight up.

On top of everything...a bad hair day.

I fumbled with the car stereo and finally found a station broadcasting the news.

They started to say it was terrorism. And that the two skyscrapers were starting to lean a bit.

Once again, I wouldn't believe that the buildings were leaning. The people on the radio were just trying to create hysteria.

Skyscrapers don't lean.

I pulled up in the parking lot right next to Wendigo.

"Can you believe this," I asked.

She was holding her battery-operated television and was visibly shaken.

"This is incredible," she said. "What's going on???"

We walked into the building. I went to put my lunch into the refrigerator and met up with her in the lobby of the building.

She was watching her TV at the receptionist desk. Our receptionist, Dana, was teary-eyed.

I figured she was taking this a bit harder than most people were.

So we're listening and trying to watch the TV when Matt Lauer says that there are reports that the Pentagon is burning.

Dana freaked out. She began sobbing, got up and left the office.

"She's in the reserves," Wendi informed me. "And her boyfriend's in Saudi Arabia right now." New Boy has a better grasp of the situation.

More people started crowding around the TV as we informed people walking in on the latest...Trade Center's been hit, Pentagon is on fire.

It was surreal...extremely surreal. Eight of us crowded around this tiny TV, waiting for Matt and Katie to say they were mistaken and none of this really happened.

...No apologies ever came.

We heard the car bomb story outside the Capital. As we know now, that was just a rumor.

After about 20 minutes of crowding, I made my way to my office and fired up my computer.

I checked the most recent diaries in Diaryland, just wondering what people were saying.

I don't remember which diary, but somebody said that the top half of the World Trade Center just fell off.

I went over to Wendi's office to ask if this was true. She said it was.

I FINALLY got through to and read that one of the towers just fell.

I prayed out loud. Quietly, but out loud.

Then we heard of another plane down in Pennsylvania.

And I swear...that's when I really thought this was Armageddon. Too many planes falling out of the sky. The day was just going to get worse and worse.

Fortunately, that was the last plane crash of the day. You can't really say things got "better" after that...but at least a small sense of stability took over.

I'm still numb today as I'm sure most of you are.

I don't feel like being entertaining and I don't want to be entertained.

I've spent most of today reading as much as I could concerning the attacks on the various news websites, and listening to NBC on my clock radio.

I'm nervous about the economy.

I'm confident we will destroy whoever is behind all this.

I'm worried about the repercussions from the suicidal nuts already in this country.

I'm sad that my child will someday see horrors that will make yesterday's actions seem like child's play.

I'm praying this doesn't turn into World War III.

And I'm afraid my prayers won't be answered.

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