Nine years ago. September 11, 2002. I was working a temp job. I can’t remember what the company was, what I was doing, or where it was. I do remember I was high up in a building because it was so windy that day that while looking out the window I could see the building swaying.
I remember arriving on time and the woman I was supposed to be working for arrived late. They had footage from 911 on TV and she glanced at it and said she was late because of the 911 news. It seemed strange to me that she would be late because of that. I mean, really? On that day, it could be used as an excuse. “Why were you late?” “911.” “Oh, yes, of course.” Am I being callous? No. If you’re going to come to work, just come to work on time. Maybe anniversaries just aren’t a big deal to me. I can love where I live any day, not just on the 4th of July, I eat cake on other days besides my birthday, and I can certainly buy my wife flowers on days besides our anniversary. Granted, I don’t have a wife, but if I did, I would buy her flowers.
The CEO or whoever it was of this company that I can’t remember called everyone into a main area and gave a speech about the 911 anniversary, and all I remember about that was him saying that after World War II, the U.S. could have taken over the entire world, but chose not to do that. I think that’s what he said. That’s actually kind of interesting. He asked if anyone had anything to say. No one did, and I wondered what people would think if I started talking – someone who no one knew and was only working there for the day. He said that if anyone wanted to leave for a while and walk down to Ground Zero (which I don’t think was close by), they could. Could I? Could I spend my one day at that company walking down to Lower Manhattan? No, probably not. I stayed in the office.
I worked two jobs those days. After the 9-5 temp work I would do deliveries at night, which I did for a couple years. While walking to my next job, I felt the wind in New York like I had never felt it before. A woman smiled and said to me, “Maybe these are the spirits.” And I kind of thought maybe she was right.