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Friday, September 11, 2009

On 9/11

On 9/11 I am 23 years old again. I sit in an avocado green half-height cubicle farm with even less privacy than I have today. I wear only an engagement ring. I am at work early, of course, because there are no children to feed and dress and get to school. I plan a joke with colleagues to ignore another co-worker soon leaving our firm.

On 9/11 I see a co-worker I would rather forget but now never will. I run to a television, refresh and refresh boston.com. I see Yahoo! Mail from Julie, "i just saw the second plane crash."

On 9/11 I crowd with others (hundreds of people?) in Bain & Co's 7Z conference room and watch in horror as a wall-sized screen shows the first tower crash.

On 9/11 I am yelled at by strangers for using my cell phone, trying to locate Marc, as I walk home to our apartment, too scared to take the subway. Marc has left his office in the Federal Reserve building, near the airport, but stops to run an errand along the way. I'm not sure I've ever forgiven him for that.

On 9/11 my mother offers to house and help any co-workers who may have been traveling in her area (none are, but I still remember the impulse to help any one in any way).

On 9/12, the next day, I go back to work, and out to pick-up lunch with co-workers. We cannot get back in the office, as it is attached to the Westin Hotel, where the hijackers may have stayed. I set my voicemail saying I am out of the office so that my fund's custodian in Texas can reach me at home.

On 9/11, regardless of the year, I have a hard time thinking of anything but these events. I was very fortunate not to personally know someone who perished that day, but we were all affected. There is a before, and there is an after.

On 9/11, where and who were you?

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