it starts with september 11.
up early that day, gritty eyes torn open by rambunctious toddler jumping and laughing on my bed. the child that never sleeps, joyful with life.
flipping on howard stern, i groan and creak my way out of bed. pregnant again, my body, heavy with life, is not so joyful as the toddler, who is already prattling in the cupboards of the kitchen, her job with me, finished.
as i brush my teeth, the rumbly voice of howard mentions that a plane crashed into the world trade center. but planes have crashed into the trade center before. nobody is worried. i spit the toothpaste into the sink.
i am in the kitchen cooking breakfast when the phone rings. i almost dont hear it because the toddler is banging pans against the floor and screaming with laughter. her lips are red and her curls bob. i make it to the phone on the third ring.
and that’s when it starts.
turn on the TV, says the frantic voice on the other line.
why? I ask.
just do it! screams the voice.
i remember to turn off the stove before i cross the small kitchen into the living room and turn on the TV.
the screen burns with fire, deep billowing smoke furls into the perfect blue day.
howard stern’s voice is suddenly crystal clear from the back room. they are debating if they should shut the show down. there more planes and we’re under attack and nobody knows what’s going on and my baby’s screaming and i can’t hear anything else.
and then the first building collapses and then the next and i feel my feet fall out from underneath me and my hands go to my belly and life and death and life and death and life and death swirl and mix and then there is nothing and everything and black dust blankets the earth that somehow keeps right on spinning even tho the world has stopped.
remember that you are dust…
it all starts here.