Friday, September 11, 2009

The Metaphorical Second Plane

It wasn’t exactly like any other Tuesday. It was my three year-old’s fifth day at The Children’s House and my first job interview in many years. Truthfully, I was more nervous about my little one’s reaction to being dropped off at Montessori than about my interview as my would-be boss was a friend. The drop-off was unmemorable. I’m sure there was some clinging and crying, but I had four days of experience with that already under my belt. I went home to get ready for the interview.

A little before 9:00 that morning, one of my girlfriends from high school called me.

“Are you watching TV?”

“No, I’m getting ready for my interview. Why?”

“Just put on the TV – we’ll talk later.”

For a few minutes I thought I was seeing the violent scene of an horrific accident. Our annual Girls Weekend was scheduled in New York City the following weekend. This accident had the potential to impact our plans because the city would probably still be reeling from its effects. This was my concern.

As I watched the second plane fly into the South Tower, I could barely comprehend what I was seeing. During the images of all that utter devastation, a reporter was speaking to someone from the Pentagon. The speaker suddenly broke off his analysis saying that it sounded like a bomb had exploded in the building. I think it was at this point that I realized exactly what was going on: America was under attack.

I called my soon-to-be boss and told him the news. He hadn’t heard, but his wife was calling him while I was talking to him to tell him the same. I managed to make it to the office and we talked about it, and – oh yeah – the details of the work I would be doing for him. I went home with my new job in hand to contemplate the changes soon to occur in my life, and to life in general.

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I wanted to tell my little story of “Where I Was When” because I’m not exactly sure how best to remember this day. In a mélange of conflicting emotions, I’m alternatively sad and inordinately angry when I think of it. My sadness is for the loss of human life – the thousands of individual stories – the murdered innocents. My anger comes from the fact that the attacks were pointedly against the very symbols of American success: skyscrapers filled with people who chose to earn a living in the world’s greatest city, and a symbol of our government. I remain inordinately angry because the very foundations of American success (individual rights, capitalism, and industry) remain under attack, but from a different, more insidious enemy.

Before you scoff at my suggestion that the attack is now coming from within our own country, I urge you to learn more about the nature of different political systems throughout history, research the unprecedented proliferation of regulations controlling our industries, and decide what, if anything, the idea of freedom means to you. Now: While we may still be able to stop the metaphorical second plane.

1 comment:

Beth said...

Every story is important. The stories keep it real. Thank you for yours, and for the reminder.