MY 9/11

Inspired by @jeremysomething
  1. I was living in Williamsburg, attending college at Cooper Union.
    I was a sophomore and class started at 11 that day so I was sleeping when the towers were hit.
  2. I set out to bike to class.
    There were a lot of helicopters and a big smoke plume far away that looked like it could maybe be from a waterfront factory.
  3. I was late so I decided to take my bike on the L train, but they said there was a bomb on the train.
    I took off towards the Williamsburg bridge, thinking of class starting soon. There were always bomb threats and weird crises on the train it seemed to me at the time. Probably some pipe had burst. I was like 19.
  4. When I got to the bridge, there were no cars at all. Both bike paths and car lanes were thick with people.
    Streaming off the bridge into Brooklyn. That's when I knew there was no class, that there were maybe bombs on the train, maybe bombs everywhere. I went back home.
  5. I got back to my loft and my roommates were watching TV
    A newscaster said the attacks weren't attributed to anyone yet, and Hassan, my roommate said, "They know who did it."
  6. No phones were working, and I knew I needed to talk to my family in Minnesota.
    They had very little concept of geography and where I spent my time, and I knew they would be out of their minds. After hours and hours, I got ahold of my mom. I have never heard that level of fear in her voice. My mom and I have always been close, I'm an only child and she raised me solo, but she's a tough broad, and she doesn't fuss over me. The phone call I had with her that day actually made me realize how much she loved and cherished me beyond anything else.
  7. The next phone call was to my boyfriend who was staying with his parents in Nyack that week.
    I asked if he was okay and he said "No I've been hit by some debris!" He was okay.
  8. I went back to class a few days later, my school was just below 14th st which was cleared pretty soon.
    My teacher wanted us to watch Battle of Algeirs, and to try to think abstractly about the attacks, like we were analyzing a work of art (art school, so y'know). I think she wanted to help us understand the very real forces that push people commit radical acts of violence, so we could see beyond the jingoistic rhetoric and reactionary hatred and horror that was to come from the event.
  9. The Blackout
    2 years later, The Northeast blackout of 2003 hit NYC hard. I worked in SoHo and lived in Williamsburg and this time I joined the thousands of people walking across the bridge. I remember feeling euphorically connected to everyone on the long trek, it was unlike anything I had experienced. Like a protest, but the only cause was that everyone wanted to make sure everyone else was okay. People were cracking jokes and making friends. It was like we all knew exactly what to do, because we did.