it wasn't raining when i walked the puppies, but the sky was low and thick, and i heard the low-flying plane before i saw it. it zoomed over head, graceful and proud, banking into its descent, and as i watched it dip and turn, i remembered what day it is.
what i remember about that day was how absolutely beautiful it was. the skies were a clear and cloudless crystalline, the air balmy with summer sun. before i moved to connecticut, Beloved extolled the virtues of connecticut's skies. you've never seen such blue, he enthused, and no, i never will again. i remember thinking it was too nice to be inside as i drove to work that morning. i wonder how many people had that very same thought.
and then it changed, not in an instant, but in a series of events, a chain of phone calls and conversations that began just before nine o'clock... five minutes of nine, as i remember, because 8:55 is the time i was born... in the evening, thank goddess.
first came Beloved's. his voice had just a hint of excitement. did you hear about the plane, annie? he asked. he was on his way to work.
ive been here since seven, i answered. i was busy. i had deadlines, projects, stuff to do. i didn't care about planes, unless i had to be on one.
a plane flew into a building in new york, he said. im not sure what kind it is, i think its one of those little planes.
some idiot flying where he shouldn't, i said, and we hung up because the next call was from my daughter, at uconn, my oldest. in a voice i hadn't heard since she was very small, she said: mommy, i just watched a plane fly into a building. a big plane. into a big building.
she had seen the first footage of the second hit.
from there the word had begun to spread, across the cubicles, out of the offices. we gathered in the cafeteria around the big television set and watched what couldn't have happened happening before our eyes.
at ten thirty came the order to go home. i remember how when we left the building, i looked up, into those clear blue skies and wondered how it was they'd turned that subtle shade of gray.
and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.