The facts are easy. I can share the facts without a problem. Facts are simply what happened. Emotionless events.
Watching the glass walls of the building vibrate like a wave until in their stillness they exploded. The first plane hit. Touching the partially burned scraps of office documents which were scattered across the pavement like a patchy carpet felt like touching any other paper. We went to find a safe place. My Birkenstock clad feet supporting my body as I walked and ran through the streets for hours.
The sounds of people; many crying. One used a stick on a fence; that burst of machine gun-like sound intentionally playing on the frayed nerves of those within earshot. A fishmonger went about his business as if two massive buildings were not burning in his direct line of sight.
I know the taste of the drink that I had at 12:30PM upon finally finding an open business and can feel how it burned slightly when it was going down. The smell of a clean yet beer soaked bar. Images of the morning’s carnage looped on the TV as I listened to a busy signal while trying to get in touch with my parents to let them know I was alive.
The vividness of the memory is intense even when it is visited as a calm observer.
I am grateful to be alive and for 8 years ago because I am a better person for having intimately experienced 9/11/01.