Monday, September 12, 2005
On September 11th
Four years have passed since that fateful day and I am changed.

I can't express clearly quite how I have changed, except to say that I am now more aware. That day will forever be burned in my memory.

I was at work that day, of course, and had been in my office since 6:30 a.m. I was getting the day ready so that the plant could run and prepping a meeting we had with clients later in the day. Mid-morning I took a phone call from my stepmother. She told me to turn on a television. We didn't have one though, so I logged on to the internet instead. And I saw the news. I still know what I was wearing that day. I still remember knowing viscerally that it was a terrorist attack the second the second plane hit the World Trade Center. I remember knowing real fear that day, fear that transcended the fear of my near rape.

It was uncertainty of what was to come, and certainty that things could never be the same that marked that day. My boss's son was on an airplane that day - on a trans-continental flight - and we were all worried about him. He was returning to the midwest from a hunting trip in Alaska. The staff was upset, understandably, and our visiting clients ended up turning around and driving back home when the news broke, even before our meeting.

I remember the crazy gas gouging that went on as well as the lines at the grocery stores. I didn't go to either place though, instead being desirous of getting home safely and turning on the news. I watched the news every chance I could get after that. I prayed that people would be found safe in the rubble.

I remember that the tears were fueled by so much anger. I was pissed as hell. The thing is, I'm still pissed. I have moved on, don't get me wrong, but I haven't forgotten. It is a part of our new reality and I can't see past that. If I could personally hold accountable the bastards who did this, God help me I would. And it wouldn't be pretty.

I watched the documentary last night on Discovery about Flight 93. It was surprisingly good. The voiceover was done by Keifer Sutherland - that was weird, it made it seem surreal for some reason. I admire personal courage, always have. The people on flight 93, they acted with real courage. They determined that they weren't going to go quietly into the night. Such spirit, such an act of love, it humbles me.

They had something that the passengers on the other flights didn't have: knowledge. The other flights came so quickly in succession that there was no time for them to gather intelligence from the ground and act on it. I don't mean to slight them. I'm sure that had they known, they too would have acted in their own defense.

I'd also like to believe that I would have done something. I am a fighter. I've fought off my would-be rapist, I'd like to think that faced with my own certain demise I'd take a few muslim extremists with me. I'd like to think that I would beat, bite, claw, and spit to save myself.

I am much more aware these days. I watch people who are unknown to me carefully. I don't like to see in a restaurant if I can't see the entrance. I watch people in airports like a hawk. I can't tell you the number of unsupervised bags I've reported to security. Am I crazy? Maybe. I don't know. All I know is that I'm not ready to die, and I'm certainly not ready to die at the hands of some religious fanatic with a penis problem. (I have a theory that these wackjobs are striking out at the world over their own inabilities to get it up. I didn't say it was a good theory. But, if I ever come face to face with one, I not only intend to ask him, but also to kick him in the 'nads for good measure.)

I would like to say that I've gained some sort of understanding from all of this, but it would be a lie. I don't understand them. I don't want to understand them. I don't think it makes me a racist either. I also don't want to understand Ted Bundy or serial rapists. As far as I'm concerned, these people are serial killers. Splashy, fanatical, serial killers who have hijacked a religion and perverted it for their own pleasures.

Here's something else: I don't believe any God will grant you paradise and 69 virgins to defile in reward for the mass murder of thousands. I don't even think hell would want you. It almost makes me wish God were not just a woman, but a mother.
posted by Phoenix | 10:04 AM


At 6:38 PM, Anonymous Christina said...

Exceptionally well said.


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