September 11th 2001
I wonder about you. I wonder how uncomfortable it was. That’s probably not the strongest word, but that day was anything but comfortable. I still hear stories and feel claustrophobic. I look at the pictures and imagine all these scenarios. I think about how I would have responded. I think and I think and I try to be you. But I’m not.
For fifteen years I’ve been putting the pieces together. I wonder what you were thinking- or if you even had the energy to think. Maybe you were praying or trying to help the people around you. Maybe you were calling someone on the phone or hugging others.
It really was a beautiful morning.
I wonder if you realized that. Did you watch the sun rise and take your coffee with cream? I wonder who you spoke with or if you had a meeting. I hope there was laughter and sarcasm. But maybe you were having a bad morning. Tuesday has never been my favorite day of the week. We have bad days.
But this was a different kind of bad day for you. I wonder how you found out what happened. Did you feel it? Did you see it happen? Did you freeze in place and listen to people scream? And as tension rose and your heart raced your lungs, what did you do?
How did you know when it was over?
These are events I’ve only seen in movies. Decisions like this aren’t for real life.
I wish you didn’t have to choose- to burn or to explode, to suffocate, to choke.
I wonder if you knew you were loved or what your last thoughts were.
When you knew it was over and that there was no more hope, you weighed out your options. How awful that must have felt to decide how you’d die that morning. Would you let fumes swallow you and crisp your flesh, turning it to ash?
You got to the point where you broke open a window. Maybe you were alone; maybe people watched you. And then you made your final choice- something you could never take back. And you did it. You jumped. You dove from a hundred stories, knowing no one could catch you. You leapt into dark clouds and grueling heat. Your stomach climbed into your heart more ferociously than any roller coaster could have made it.
Did you feel like Superman? I hope you did.
I watched from below as your arms spread wide and you were gone. Pushed by evil into clouds of fire, your flesh turned to ashes. No more thinking. No more tears. You were finished.