Where to begin?

Everyone's got a story.

Tuesday morning, my first clue that something was wrong came after I finished my final editing pass on a story I was revising. I checked my mail, much later than usual for my first check of the day, and there was a note asking if I'd heard whether a particular friend in New York was okay.

My first thought was Oh my God, they've nuked New York.

And then I saw another email saying that a plane had hit the World Trade Center, and I thought, Oh, okay, then—airline disaster, but nothing world-shattering. So I proceeded with my morning ablutions, and was preparing to go to work when I noticed a message on my answering machine. It was from my manager, saying they'd shut the office down.

I thought, What does that mean? Have we all been laid off?

So I called my manager, and she said, "Haven't you heard?" And that was how I found out.

The office was closed. I spent the day mostly with Mya, doing what most of the rest of the country was doing: obsessively watching TV, dragging ourselves away from the TV, trying to talk about other things, talking about what had happened. Trying to make some sense out of it. What were their goals? Was this the start of a bigger campaign, or an isolated incident? How had they gotten into restricted airspace? Worrying about what came next. Mourning for those lost. Obsessively watching the newsless news.

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