The following three photos were taken from the World Trade Centre on September 1, 2001.
My brother and I went to the top together.
Do the math.
|Looking up from a bus
|From the ferry to the Statue of Liberty
It was one of those days that we all remember where we were when we heard.
I was in the car with my mum, and she was going to drop me off at the bus stop. She told me that someone on the radio was saying that a plane had flown into the World Trade Centre. At that point, we didn’t really know much more, and I didn’t even know how to take the information. I got on the bus and didn’t think about it again until I got to French class that morning, and the teacher was listening to the radio quietly at the side of the classroom. We took our seats quietly, and as we listened, the reality of what had happened sunk in, and I put my head on my desk and cried silently to myself.
I had been ten days away from that event.
To this day, the proximity of my appearance in the World Trade Centre to its collapse still affects me. Every now and then I have a nightmare, and it always consists of the same images (elevators and stairwells) and the same feeling (horror). Usually I am in an open-air elevator rocketing up into the sky above the clouds, and there is never anything to hold onto. People waver and fall off the edge. Other times, I find myself trapped in a stairwell of a tall building. There is yelling and urgency, and I usually wake up in a panic.
These dreams have become a normal part of my recurring dream repertoire, along with the dreams of being ill-prepared for an exam and the dreams of finding myself on stage to perform a dance I don’t know. And every now and then, when I’m really lucky, I have one of those elusive flying dreams wherein I can push off the ground as I wish, and float around freely in the air, free as a bird.
With all the journalism and writing and reporting that’s been done on 9/11, an event that has stained and scarred the (North) American psyche, there is little that I can say about it that will be new, apart from my own personal experience. And as my dreams will insist, it is something that we should not and cannot ever forget.