Breathe In, Breathe Out

The area surrounding the District was so quiet today — everyone was somber and somewhat afraid of every step we were about to take. If there was any sound at all, it was of distant fighter jets, as we were only a few miles from the remembrance activities. The airspace had not been closed, but numbers of flights were reduced drastically simply because American citizens were loath to travel by air.

I arrived at work a tiny bit late today so that I could be at home for the national moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. We had a silent moment at work around 9:35 a.m. in our conference room, under the auspices of remembering the time the Pentagon was hit, but it seems that all we really talked about geographically was the World Trade Center. The remembrance ceremony was necessary yet stressful — we were encouraged to talk and to read aloud, and it killed me how illiterate some of my native-born colleagues are. 🙂

Spoke with Mom last night — we wanted to hear each other’s voices just in case it would be the last time we could hear each other say, “I love you,” in this lifetime. Mom said, “I wish you could feel my arms around you,” and I said, “I always do, Mom. I always do.”

In preparation for the worst, a number of us had filled our gas tanks last night and researched alternate routes out of the city (other than the obvious interstates near our homes), and several had considered where they would flee, assuming the District would be targeted for violence again — many of us had overnight bags in our trunks. But as today draws to a close, we can breathe a brief sigh of relief — the anniversary has passed without incident. But I’ll admit, I fear we’re in the eye of the tornado, rather than at the end of the storm.

I was absolutely useless at work. My concentration was shot, and I hadn’t slept a wink last night anyway, so I was a mess. All I know is that when my alarm went off this morning, I said aloud, “They didn’t get us. We’re alive another day.” Of course, the question remained: for how long would we be alive? I emailed Lori, F/OM and Emily jointly to drop a note that all was well in the District and to send my observations as well as my wishes for their own safety (I chose that group because we all suffered through that horrible meeting that I detailed in my last post). Lori emailed with thoughts and love. It was nice to know that people were thinking of me.

SM and I went to the gym tonight, because we still believed that attending a candlelight vigil or one of the dozens of area remembrance events still left us vulnerable. But I watched the vigils on the many TVs at Bally’s, and I came home to watch the President’s address from Ellis Island, from the safety of my living room. Goodness only knows what tomorrow will bring, but for tonight, we are safe.

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