I came into the office around 8 am as usual, tossed my backpack in the corner of my cubicle, and sat down in front of my workstation, ready for another day of datamart jockeying. My colleague and across-the-hall cube neighbor Gary (fuzzygruf) swiveled around and said, "Did you see the news? Planes crashed into the World Trade Center and one of the towers just fell down." Now, Gary and I had a lot of fun at work, and I was sure this was a joke of some kind, so I laughed and said something like, "Oh, right." "No, really, come look." I came over to his monitor and there on the CNN page was a picture of the smoking WTC towers. At that instant I felt simultaneously that it was still some kind of hoax, and that the world was forever changed. Being in the financial district of a major city and seeing another major city getting bombed kind of makes you feel vulnerable. Well, we just kept checking the news and waited for our boss to come in. I tried calling Steve (rootbeer1) but got no answer and was feeling a bit anxious about that. As soon as our VP came into the office and saw the news, she sent us home. I finally connected with Steve--he was helping a coworker do something or other, but was on his way home too. Back at our apartment in the Castro, we watched the news covereage until we couldn't stand seeing the planes smash into the towers anymore, then stumbled out to Castro Street and sat in the open window of the taco place, dazed and wondering how our lives would change.
I haven't flown since then, up until this last July when I flew back East. In 2004 when I went East for my sabbatical, I took Amtrak. I started taking an SSRI. The housing marking in San Francisco dipped enough that we were able to purchase a house. I seriously contemplated moving to Canada.
In 1990, I interviewed for a job at the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, a state agency that liasoned with the NYNJ Port Authority. The office was on the 89th floor of the North Tower. I remember the spectacular views from every office. I got the job, but at the last minute deciced not to relocate to NYC. If I had taken it, I very well could have been in that office on that day. Some of the people I met and interviewed with probably were.