Tuesday, September 15, 2009

September 11, 2001

Where were you when you first heard about John Lennon being shot? Or Richard Nixon resigning? Or Elvis dying? The Challenger exploding? Princess Diana’s fatal car crash? If you’re old enough, you probably remember exactly where you were and what you were doing when you heard the news.

When I think of September 11, 2001, I always remember a houseful of flies.

Kent had left for work and I had seen the last child out the door to school. Just a few minutes later, the phone rang. It was my son, Jeff, calling from the Barretts’ house, just down the street, where he’d stopped to pick up his buddy.

“Mom,” he said, “Kathy said I should call you and tell you to turn on the TV. A plane just flew into one of the towers of the World Trade Center.”

I turned on the TV. It was right about then that I noticed the first small black fly. Then the next. And the next. The second tower went down, and they were all over my house. All day, as I watched the news, I swatted the flies. We learned about the Pentagon. Standing on the sofa, standing on a kitchen chair (they seemed to be up high); I fought off the assailants with a dish towel. We heard about United Flight 93. I kept up the fight, but couldn’t seem to make any headway. There were always more. I tried to find out where they were coming from, these invaders in my home, but without success. Small black flies. Small black flies. Confusion on the TV., so many casualties. All day long and into the evening, thousands of deaths later, I stood on my furniture, fighting the small, black flies.

I’ve never been able to explain them, there one day, completely gone the next.

1 comment:

  1. Every September 11th, I remember where I was when I heard the news. Lizzy was just a few weeks old, and had her days and nights mixed up. So when my neighbor knocked on the door that morning to tell me to turn on the TV, I was in this incredible sleep-deprived haze that then combined with an "I-can't-believe-this-is-happening" haze to last all day long.

    --Christine McClellan