What a morning, it is "Bible study day," and I have been so busy, Don has already gone to the farm and left the television on, this is getting to be a habit with him. I am still in the other part of the house doing my usual morning "stuff"; I think I hear him slam the door. Yes slam, he isn't being rude, it is just that he grew up in an older farmhouse, and the doors were a little warped; he has never broken the habit of closing any door with all of his might, he does it unnervingly so! He even broke the track of our glass sliders "slamming" them, if you can believe that!
The television is blaring, where is that remote? What? What!
This is where I leave my "present" tense, and I enter a tenseness of exquisite horror, of day-mare, of immobile panic. Time has no meaning, as I stand rooted to the floor my arms too heavy to pick up the remote. My eyes are fixed on the screen as though welded there. My heart sinks, and I can't think straight, did I truly see what I thought I did?
A plane just flew into the side of one of the twin towers in New York, what an awful accident, how could anyone misjudge, did someone misjudge? My thoughts are clearing, and I am trying to calm the chaos churning in my mind. As I stand so still, like a tower myself, I hear the jumble of words, on and on, then one stands out "terror." Terror in the skies, could a terrorist have struck my homeland? Could the unthinkable have happened?
The announcers talk on. Supposition is made. Their voices are tightened, the years old failed attack on the Twin Towers is mentioned, my head is pounding, I must get to my Bible study. It is time to go. I call my Mother, "Turn on your TV!" I leave Don a note (before my cell phone days) I rush to the car, as I get in, I find that the ignition key is hard to turn, my hands are trembling and so are my insides.
I am about the half way to my destination; my radio volume is turned high. A strange form of reality is awakening in me and as I near the dead-end street, I hear a dull toned but bold voice full of tremors almost reverently announce that another plane has crashed into the other tower. Our world must be ending!
I arrive at my friend's house, and almost woodenly get out of my car. I must walk up about twenty steps to her front door my legs are wobbly, this must be some unreal parallel universe I have errantly entered into. This can not be real!
The room is full. Some of the women are crying. All are in rapt attention before the now smoky screen. I drop into a seat, when the screen becomes looped re-runs, we stop for prayer. Who prayed, did I? How did we pray? Hell on earth was happening right before our eyes. "God save, God protect, God help, God tell us what to do!"
There was nothing physically we could do. We gave it to God and headed for the comfort and sanity of our homes. I needed to touch my husband, my daughter, and hear my grandchildren's voices. We talked to all of our scattered family that day. I wanted to crawl through the telephone and feel flesh. Life tasted very differently than it had earlier in the morning, it would never be quite the same.
And then, they fell.